Flu season is in full swing in Maine, a little earlier this year than expected. There are things you can do to protect yourself. But, if you do get sick, remember the people around you, and stay home!

Jessica DeGrasse, Infection Preventions Specialist at St. Joseph's Hospital in Bangor says it's important to be mindful of others when you have flu symptoms. The hospital is asking that anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms seek treatement at a primary care physician or at the emergency room.They urge these folks to avoid visiting patients already in the hospital for fear that the virus will spread to others with weakened immune systems. For those folks, a bout of the flu could be deadly.

DeGrasse says despite the fact that the flu is here, it's not too late to get a flu shot. And that's really your best defense. It may not prevent your catching the flu, but will greatly reduce the symptoms and duration. Most pharmacies are offering flu shots or you can visit your primary care physician.

There are a few things you can do to help protect yourself from catching or spreading the flu. Wash your hands frequently, cover your cough or sneeze with your sleeve rather than your hand, avoid close contact with those who are sick, and stay home if you have flu-like symptoms. For more information, log onto the Maine Center for Disease Control's website.