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Health officials report flu cases up from this time last year

New numbers show the flu season is off to a strong start in the Borderland.

New numbers show the flu season is off to a strong start in the Borderland.

According to the El Paso Department of Public Health, there were 256 flu cases reported as of Dec. 9. That's compared to 149 cases at the same time in 2016.

Health officials warn this could be the sign of a hard flu season, but they will have a better idea after the season ends.

Health officials are still encouraging people to get their flu shots.

CBS 4 talked to a doctor at Westwind Medical Associates about this year's flu season.

Dr. Mina Haidarian said her office has already seen several cases of the flu this year.

She encourages people to visit her office if they're elderly, or if their symptoms are not getting better.

"If they're really severe symptoms, then they should come immediately to see us because we can test them. If it is positive we can immediately put them on medication that helps them to get rid of symptoms within a day," said Dr. Haidarian.

Dr. Haidarian said it's important for people to practice a healthy lifestyle and to wash their hands often to avoid getting sick.

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