(WFRV) – Flu season is here, and the number of cases is much higher than expected.

Dr. Michael Landrum with Bellin Health says, “We may be in for a busy respiratory virus season.”

Last week, UW Health diagnosed more than 400 people with influenza. In recent years at their peak, they had only about 300 cases in a week.

The main reason for the early spike is the aftermath of COVID-19.

Landrum says, “Because of the pandemic and the lockdown, everybody has not had influenza, RSV, or rhinovirus. Now everybody’s immunity is a little bit low, so the viruses are really taking advantage of that.”

Some doctors are also worried it will lead to more hospitalizations.

“The concern is that we could get faced with even more cases,” Landrum says.

Medical experts believe the best way to protect yourself from the flu is to roll up your sleeve and get the vaccine.

Chief of quality with UW Health, Dr. Jeff Pothof, says, “The flu vaccine, like the COVID vaccine, may not 100% protect you from coming down with symptoms. Those that develop symptoms of influenza after getting the vaccine will have a shorter and milder course than they typically would have if they were not vaccinated.”