ARK. (KTVE/KARD) — The board of the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement is urging Arkansans to get the flu shot in order to be protected by Thanksgiving. They say this will be helpful to have before gathering with large groups of loved ones for the holiday.

This year, the flu season has started aggressively, with U.S. flu hospitalizations higher than they have been at this point in the flu season in more than a decade. ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson said, “We’re seeing a higher level of flu activity, both in cases and hospitalizations, than we’ve seen this early in the flu season in a long time.”

“It can take a couple of weeks to receive maximum protection from vaccination, and Thanksgiving is two weeks away, so please do not delay. Get your shot now.”

INFORMATION ABOUT THE FLU:

Influenza, or the flu, is a respiratory illness that is contagious and can cause mild to severe illness, possibly death in some cases. Symptoms to look out for are fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue, vomiting, and diarrhea.