Texas -

Health professionals said flu season started early this year and could be worse than it has been in years. 

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said a few states, including Texas, already have enough cases to mark the beginning of flu season. Flu rates typically don't start to rise until January, but this year flu cases are showing up a month early.

The CDC said as many as 113 million Americans have already gotten their yearly flu shot, but they said only 37 percent of people eligible for the flu vaccine will actually get it.

Kay Durilla works at the Abilene-Taylor County Public Health District. She said they have seen more cases than usual for this time of year.

"We’re hearing about more cases especially with the kiddos and it really is not too late to come get a flu shot," Durilla said. 

The CDC said the best way to protect yourself from the flu is to get the vaccine. Durilla agreed and said if you haven’t gotten this years strain it's not too late to get vaccinated. 

"People who haven't had a flu shot really need to get one cause it takes two weeks for those to become effective and the longer you put it off the more likely you are to be exposed to this flu," said Durilla. 

There are also other ways to keep the flu from spreading and protect yourself from germs.

"Wash your hands, especially before touching any kind of mucous membrane like your mouth, your nose, or your eyes," Durilla said.

Some flu symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, chills, runny nose, cough or sore throat, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.