Health officials are suggesting you get ready early for flu season in Muskoka.

Flu shots are out and Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit officials are warning residents to get vaccinated sooner than later. This is because Australia has had one of the worst flu outbreaks in the country’s history, with over 130,000 reported infections.

Doctor Colin Lee with the health unit says while we probably won’t see a severe outbreak like in Australia, we should be cautious. He says now is the time to get the shot.

Lee says the reason Australia had such a bad outbreak is due to the aggressive H3N2 strain of flu that was spread around the country. He says if this strain does spread throughout Canada faster than other types of flu it could lead to a very bad flu season.

Last year, the Simcoe Muskoka health region had nearly 700 cases of the flu reported and eight related deaths. Influenza can be deadly to seniors or people with other health issues.

Vaccinations not only protect you from the flu, but also stop the spread of the virus. Aside from getting the vaccine, the best way to avoid spreading the flu virus is by washing your hands often.

The SMDHU has offices in Gravenhurst and Huntsville where you can schedule a vaccination. You can find more information on how to do that here. The majority of pharmacies in Muskoka will also have the shot available.