SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Flu season is getting worse.
Cases are now widespread in more than two-thirds of the country.
The doctors at Baystate Medical Center say patients with the flu are keeping them busy and they hope those who haven't gotten their shot yet, will consider it.
Flu season is officially in full swing; it's already infected thousands of people nationwide and here in Western Mass.
"My brother, he was really sick with it a few weeks, he couldn't do Christmas and missed all the things we do at Christmas time," said Springfield's John Carlin.
Doctors offices are overflowing with patients and according to those at Baystate Medical Center, so are hospitals.
"Certainly we're seeing more hospitalizations this year and more activity than the last few years," said Dr. Daniel Skiest, Chief of Infectious Diseases at Baystate Medical Center.
Millions of people have already gotten their flu shot and doctors hope more people will consider it. It may not prevent you from getting the flu altogether but it will protect you 60% or more of the time.
Doctors say a number of people don't get their shot because they fear the shot itself will make them sick.
"You don't infect yourself with the flu, you get a killed virus that cannot cause infection, you may get achiness at the sight, you may get a little fever or feel poorly for a day at most," Dr. Skiest added.
The flu can sicken patients for weeks at time causing fever, coughing, sore throat, aches and pains, diarrhea and vomiting.
Still, not everyone is sold on the flu shot, while others make it a priority.
"I do get it every year. It's important to me because number 1 my age and number 2 it's a healthy thing to do," said Violet St. Peter, West Springfield.
There are plenty of flu supply left, if you're interested, you should see your doctor.