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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – If you haven’t had a bad cold or the flu chances are you know someone who has and doctors say the worst of it is still to come.

Officials at Medical City Dallas Hospital are reporting the influenza cases this winter have increased about 20-percent.

Dr. Matthew Bush says you can take preventative steps to keep from getting the flu including getting a flu shot even though it’s almost February. “Ideally we like to see you get that vaccine in late September, October, maybe early November, but it’s definitely not too late,” he said.

The CDC recommends anyone 6-months of age and older get a flu shot.

Bush’s other suggestions for staving off the flu — frequent hand washing, regular exercise, washing your washing machine, avoiding alcohol and eliminating some sugar from your diet.

Generally, flu activity peaks between December and March but can last as late as May.

The bottom line is doctors say influenza is something that’s preventable, so why not get the vaccine if it’s something that could potentially save your life.

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