LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — When it comes to the flu, this winter is proving to be a rough one as county health officials are warning that flu season isn’t even in full swing and already, it’s looking bad.

According to county health officials, the dominant flu strain going around is influenza A, which is known to cause severe symptoms and send more people to the hospital.

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Exer More Than Urgent Care Medical Director Brian Wilbur says they’ve seen a steep increase in patients over the past week from the flu.

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“The flu starts out like a bang almost,” said Wilbur regarding symptoms. “Fatigue, headache, dry cough, fever, chills, body ache, sore throat and general malaise.”

Wilbur says the best way to prevent getting sick is to get a flu shot.

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People should also avoid sick people, encourage coworkers to stay home if they’re ill and wash their hands frequently.