LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV)- Many of us will be traveling to spend time with family this weekend and while it's nice to be together, the Arkansas Department of Health said if you're feeling under the weather, you might need to stay home
Since October 1, over 4,600 positive flu tests have been reported and, with several flu-related deaths this year, that's why the Arkansas Department of Health wants you to get vaccinated if you still haven't.
They're expecting the flu to stick around for another two to three months.
Dr. Viegas with St. Vincent said he has seen a rapid spike in flu cases with his patients this month.
“I'm diagnosing one to two people a day and sometimes we have up to four people a day that I have to diagnose with the flu,” he said.
He said he's seeing it in both men and women.
“It seems to be a little bit more than last year and it also seems to be a little bit earlier in the year in comparison to last year,” he said.
Last week there were 78 positive flu test in the state.
“We can get it every single year and as the virus mutates it's structure changes and it's evolving every single year,” he said.
With the holidays here, he feels everyone needs to be extra careful and thoughtful.
“I would be sure to wash your hands often and you can even wear a mask so if you sneeze or cough, that doesn't go into the air droplets for your friends or family members to breathe,” he said.
The Arkansas Department of Health recommends everyone over six months old to get a flu shot every year - especially if you're pregnant, or over 65 years old.
Local clinics and pharmacies should still have shots in stock.