Doctors say the rising number of flu cases in North Texas is cause for concern since we haven't even hit the peak of flu activity.
The number of flu cases in North Texas has risen exponentially in recent weeks and that has public health officials expressing concern that this flu season may only get worse.
"We see peak activity most likely in January through March. So with that historical trend we just expect more cases," said Dr. Christopher Perkins, medical director of Dallas County Health and Human Services.
According to the latest numbers available from Dallas County, three adults died from influenza-related illness in the week before Christmas, and two other deaths are being investigated by the Dallas County medical examiner's office.
"This year it seems as though we're experiencing a very bad year," said Dr. Ruth Reeves of City Doc Urgent Care in Uptown Dallas.
Reeves told NBC 5 she is seeing double the number of flu patients every day than she would expect to see at this time of year.
Of particular concern to Reeves - patients are waiting too long before seeking medical attention.
Medication like Tamiflu is only effective for people within the first 48 hours of developing symptoms of the flu, Reeves said.
It is not too late to get a flu vaccine, Perkins stressed.
With the flu season not expected to peak until February, the two-week period it takes for a flu shot to become effective would still leave patients with a sufficient time period of protection from the flu.