This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Flu season is off to an early and strong start in the Kansas City area.

Officials from the Kansas City Missouri Health Department say cases have doubled just in the past two weeks.

According to Director of Health Marvia Jones, right now there are 608 cases compared to one case this time last year.

She said to look out for the same symptoms in kids and adults.

“Things like fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headache, and fatigue,” Jones said.

Jones said if children are really struggling, it may be the respiratory illness RSV or even COVID-19, and caregivers should seek professional care.

“We notice when there are any problems with breathing where someone particularly a child is flaring their nose, they’re struggling to breathe you notice that the patterns in which their chest is moving in and out to take in air is stalling or struggling a bit,” Jones said. “That’s absolutely a time that help needs to be sought out.”

Because numbers are so high some families around the metro are taking extra precautions this holiday season especially going out in crowds.

“Well going down to the station here when Christmas starts, I’m going to wear a mask that way I get rid of the cold,” Robert Ryan said.

Jones says to protect your family this flu season:

  • Get your flu vaccine
  • Wash your hands
  • Stay at home if you’re not feeling well

“If anyone has any symptoms, you know avoid going around folks particularly folks who might be vulnerable,” Jones said. “They may already have something that makes their immune systems less able to fight.”

She says it takes two full weeks for the vaccines to reach their full effectiveness, so make your appointments to get protected against the flu sooner, rather than later.

📲 Download the FOX4 News app to stay updated on the go.
📧 Sign up for FOX4 email alerts to have breaking news sent to your inbox.
💻 Find today’s top stories on for Kansas City and all of Kansas and Missouri.