The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports influenza is declining on the east coast, but increasing in the west.
The Kern Health Department is reminding anyone who hasn't received their flu shot, to get vaccinated.
Usually, flu season begins in October and peaks in January or February. Health officials say the virus is a big threat to Kern County.
"We've already seen in our community, even with the low levels of activity, even one infection was very severe and led to death," said Dr. Claudia Jonah.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates an average of 36,000 people die annually from the flu.
Health officials are warning everyone to get vaccinated, especially with this year's vaccine. As of January 25th, more than 134 million doses had been distributed.
"Last year's vaccine is not the best fit for infection you may have during this season. So, we want to have people take advantage of people getting that protection," said Dr. Jonah.
She says prevention also includes the three C's: Cover your cough, clean your hands, and confine yourself at home when you're sick.
Some flu symptoms include headache, body ache and fever.
Last month, a nine-year-old Bakersfield girl died from the flu. Since then, the health department has been working closely with the state and local hospitals on surveillance programs for our community.
"One of the methods we use is, we have school absentee and surveillance. And, specifically our surveillance program right now is we track the absenteeism due to influenza-like illness," said Epidemiologist Kimberly Hernandez.
"If we do see increases in emergency department visits for influenza-like illness or if we do see things like increase absenteeism in schools, these can be early indicators to us that there's increased activity, and then we can do the prevention early on rather than later," said Dr. Jonah.
If you haven't received your flu shot, there will be a clinic Sunday in Lamont from 2-4 p.m.
The cost is $9. Kern Regional Transit will provide free transportation.