Flu season is coming early in parts of the United States: Cases of influenza along the Peninsula are at the moderate stage right now, about the same as they were last year, according to data on Google's Flu Trends. (Peninsula-specific data is not available on Flu Trends.)
It was in the winter season of 2009-2010 that the flu virus hit our area the hardest.
Overall in California, activity is also considered moderate so far, the same as at this time in 2011, according to Flu Trends.
If you're considering getting a flu shot, here are some places around San Mateo County that offer the vaccine.
In addition, parents throughout the entire San Francisco Bay Area can get free flu shots for their children ages 4 to 18. Visit shootheflu.org for more information.
Safeway Pharmacy # 0970
1655 El Camino Real, San Mateo
Costco Pharmacy #147
1001 Metro Center Blvd, Foster City
Safeway Pharmacy # 0668
2100 Ralston Ave, Belmont
CVS/Pharmacy Store #550
1324 San Carlos Avenue, San Carlos
Safeway Pharmacy # 0305
1071 El Camino Real, Redwood City
Safeway Pharmacy # 2719
525 El Camino Real, Menlo Park
CVS/Pharmacy Store #3935
855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto
Rite Aid #5890
1400 Linda Mar Boulevard, Pacifica
Rite Aid #5885
Heritage Plaza S/c, 170 San Mateo Road, Half Moon Bay
According to this week's CDC Flu activity report, influenza levels are on the increase across the country.
Five states – Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee – are reporting flu rates not normally seen until January, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The flu season normally peaks in January and February.
Holiday travel and more time spent indoors due to soggy weather will contribute to the spread of the flu virus, so now is the time to get vaccinated.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following information: