Experts agree this is the worst flu season in recent years

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It's shaping to be one of the worst flu seasons in recent years. Health department officials agree we are at the peak of the flu epidemic and if you haven't gotten your flu shot, it's not too late.

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The San Francisco Health Department is making another push asking people to get their flu shot.

"We still expect to still see high levels of flu action for the next several months," said Dr. Cora Hoover, the director of communicable disease control and prevention at the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

Hospitals have reported a recent increase in the number of people visiting the emergency room.

The CDC and San Francisco Health Department report that we are at the peak of the flu season, which started early this year.

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If you haven't had a flu shot yet -- it's not too late. It's Flu Season, and it's serious, so do your best to take care and protect yourself and your family.

There have also been more flu-related deaths this year.

During the last flu season, by January 2017 there had been nine deaths in California among people under the age of 65. So far we've seen 42 deaths this season.

It's believed this flu vaccine is not as effective as last year's. Maria Gomez got her flu shot two months ago.

"Because I don't want to get sick," she said. "No one is going to take care of me. I have to take care of other people, that's why I wanted to get my flu shot early."

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Louise McDowell got her shot early, but still got the flu. Her symptoms were mild.

"You can get it, that does stop you from having the flu, " said McDowell.

Hoover adds, "Even in a year when the effectiveness of the flu vaccine is not optimal, the vaccine still prevents millions of illnesses and tens of thousands of hospital visits in the U.S."

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The San Francisco Public Health Department reminds everyone it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop in the body and protect you, so they are recommending that you don't wait any longer.

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