CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Runny nose, fever and fatigue are all symptoms of the flu and something we all want to avoid.
But some local clinics are seeing an increase in confirmed flu cases.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, some states in the Heartland are seeing the highest level of flu activity. That widespread distinction includes Kentucky and Illinois.
In Missouri, it's still considered regional; meaning cases are confirmed in certain areas that cover less than half the state.
But more and more cases are being reported every week.
Last week alone, Immediate Convenient Care in Cape Girardeau had 10 confirmed cases of Type A influenza.
And in December, Cape Girardeau County saw 121 confirmed cases.
While the numbers are down compared to this time last year, experts say the flu season is very difficult to predict and may be far from over.
"Last year the flu season hit much earlier than this year," said Family Nurse Practitioner Nicole Huckabee. "So at this time last year there were many more confirmed flu tests than there are now. However, some years the flu season doesn't really hit until February. So it kind of varies from season to season."
It's not too late to get your flu shot, but it does take two weeks to develop immunity.
You can get the shot at local clinics, the health department and several pharmacies in the area.
So as flu season continues and kids now head back to school, what steps can you take to protect yourself and your family?
The top recommendation from the C.D.C. is to get a flu shot.
It's recommended that everyone ages 6 months and up gets one.
Washing your hands and coughing into your elbow also help prevent the spread of disease.
Doctors say if you have a fever, stay home.