"The ER in the last 2 or 3 weeks has been getting busier with people with influenza or influenza like illness," says Dr. Jim Holden, who works in the ER at Northwest Medical Center in Bentonville.
And it's just the beginning of flu season.
"We're seeing quite a few more people this year than we did last year."
And the illness, can be deadly.
"The dangers of influenza are mostly in young people, infants or older people. It's an illness that causes high fever, nausea, vomiting, generalized body aches."
And in the ER, Doctor Holden says the difference is a flu shot. Skipping out on the vaccine, gives you a bigger chance of coming to the hospital.
"Flu shots are very important. A lot of people don't want to take them because there are concerns about immunizations and those kind of things. But as far as we know, the flu shots are very safe and they do keep you from getting the flu. It keeps you able to work and keeps your children able to go to school."
And when the virus hits your home, that vaccine becomes even more important.
"If you live in the same house with someone that gets diagnosed with the flu, you're going to get the flu, if you haven't had your flu shot."
And Dr. Holden suggests going the extra mile if someone you love is a little under the weather.
"If a family member gets diagnosed with the flu, then i would speak with your doctor about giving Tamaflu or prescriptions to the rest of the family because that will help the rest of the family keep from getting the flu or not get as sick when they do."
On top of that, there's a few other ways to steer clear of the virus.
"The flu is a respiratory illness so try and keep people from coughing in your face, breathing in your face do good hand washing and just good hygiene techniques."
Especially important this season, when doctors say the flu forecast is heavy.
Flu comes with a few run of the mill symptoms:High feverNauseaVomitingBody aches
But here's where it gets dangerous:
If your fever won't come down with taking Tylenol or Motrin or if you're throwing up and can't keep any fluids down at home that's when Doctor Holden says it's time to come to the hospital.