PERRYSBURG, Ohio — Local pharmacies like Walgreens and Rite-Aid have started offering customers this year's flu shot as the flu season approaches. 

Local health experts are saying this year's flu season can start as early as this month and that people need to start taking precautions now. 

School, where germs can spread quickly, is back in session and temperatures have already started declining; all factors that can contribute to people contracting the flu virus. 

Health officials are reminding people that getting vaccinated can be the difference between being well or getting sick. 

Those susceptible to contract the flu are children and infants as well as people over 65 years old.

"As a matter of fact, the CDC recommendation is that everyone be vaccinated before the conclusion of October this year. There is possibility of an earlier and stronger flu season than usual, so we're really trying to get everyone in," said a Mercy Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Erin Hill. 

Experts said the flu shot is the one active immunity against the flu if you haven't already been exposed to the illness yet. The vaccine also helps fight off the virus faster.

Cold weather and people gathering in groups are the biggest triggers for flu season.

Other ways to make sure you stay safe before and during flu season is to wash your hands and washing them well.

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