MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The CDC says all signs point to an early flu season as cases pick up in parts of the southeast and the south-central U.S.

Georgia is showing the most cases of influenza-like illnesses. In Tennessee, activity has also been high.

The Shelby County Health Department said influenza-like illnesses have been on the rise locally since mid-September, and it’s recommending everyone six months and older get vaccinated before the end of the month.

The health department said the percentage of emergency room visits for influenza-like illnesses last week was 5.2% which is higher than the 1.8% seen during the same period last year.

The Shelby County Health Department is also urging residents to get the flu shot and new COVID-19 booster at the same time.

Last week, health director Dr. Michelle Taylor got both doses, and the health department said so far has not had any side effects.

Shelby County Health Director Dr. Michelle Taylor getting a flu shot (photo courtesy of Shelby County Health Department)

The health department is offering influenza vaccines at its two immunization clinics at 814 Jefferson and Collierville and at its five public health clinics around Shelby County.

The vaccine is available at no cost to those with health insurance and on a sliding fee scale for those without insurance.

For a list of locations, click right here.