ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — On average, the Centers for Disease Control says about 8 percent of the US population gets sick with the flu each season, but it can range between 3 percent to 11 percent. 

“It’s just cyclical and the numbers are starting to come down,” said Dr. Edward Lewis of Lewis Pediatrics.

Lewis says our region is having a bit of a dip. Cases are down 60 percent in Monroe County and down 50 percent across the state.

“We did have a school break and maybe we’re still benefiting from that a little bit,” said Lewis.

However, we’re still higher than we were at this point last year. Masking was used more during the 2021-2022 season, a preventative step. Lewis said some of us are still choosing to keep them on outside the home. 

“I think we’re still seeing some of the benefits of masking. Some of us (still) wear masks in public,” said Lewis.

Even with these lower numbers though, Dr. Lewis and Dr. Stephen Cook with Golisano Children’s Hospital say the flu is still floating free. 

“But we know there’s always the potential for it to increase,” said Cook.

Cook says you can catch the flu year-round, and the season’s not up until May. Cook said to watch for these signs: “It can be a mild illness like a little tickle in the throat, a little stuffy nose. The more serious cases tend to be fever, chills, headache,” he said.

And don’t forget the flu can be fatal. Last season, the CDC estimates 5,000 Americans died. Cook says the flu can also lead to other complications. 

“It can exacerbate any underlying condition that you have,” he said, adding it can worsen issues like heart problems, asthma, and diabetes.

Both doctors said it is not too late to get your flu —or COVID— shot. They are encouraging folks to reach out to their primary care doctor about getting one.