The flu has arrived in Franklin County.

Tony Buel, epidemiology specialist with the Franklin County Health Department, confirmed reports of influenza cases in the county this week.

The department began offering seasonal flu shots earlier this month

State and county health department officials, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have recommended everyone age 6 months and older to get flu shots this year.

According to the CDC website, seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and continue until as late as May.

“It is not possible to predict how mild or severe the 2012-2013 (flu) season will be,” the CDC said.

People should get vaccinated as early as possible, according to the CDC.

Each year a new vaccine is produced. This year the vaccine provides protection against the H1N1, H3N2 and B influenza viruses

Those who are or live with those at high risk of developing serious complications from the flu are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated as well.

The vaccines are not for those with a severe allergy to eggs or egg products, people who have had a severe allergic reaction after obtaining a past flu shot, those younger than 6 months old or those with a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Private care providers also have begun offering flu shots. For information about flu vaccines, people may contact the county health department at 636-583-7300 or call their health care provider.