"A lot of people think the flu vaccine will give them the flu and that's just not true," says Katie Saunders, a family nurse practitioner at Hampden Family Medicine.
Saunders says it is that time of the year.
Flu visits have picked up as we move through the winter months, including at Hampden Family Medicine.
"Absolutely, it's already started," she says.
According to the Maine Center for Disease Control, outpatient medical visits and hospitalizations have increased in the recent weeks as a result of influenza, a type of respiratory infection.
Many people confuse it with the stomach bug.
"You can have a cough, trouble breathing, shortness of breath, chills, fever, headaches sometimes, body aches," says Saunders.
Penobscot County has already seen 60 confirmed cases, the highest of all counties in the state.
Saunders says it isn't too late to get the vaccine and reminds you it comes at no risk to your health.
"I do hear patients that say, 'oh it makes me sick,'" she says. "We don't have clinical data to back that up."
People more at risk include young patients, the elderly and those with chronic illness.
The flu spreads through contact with others who are infected.
It is important to always cover your mouth and wash your hands.
You can get your flu vaccine at any family care provider or pharmacy.
Nurse practitioners also say if you have the flu to stay at home to avoid spreading the illness.