Get those flu shots now, because it's currently at epidemic levels. Last week, 7.3 percent of deaths reported were a result of pneumonia or the flu, just above the CDC's 7.2 percent epidemic threshold. The scary thing is that flu season has started earlier and with more aggression than normal this year.

Flu-related visits to emergency rooms in NYC are up by 150 percent compared to last year. "We’re having our flu epidemic now, and it’s a bad year. So we’re seeing plenty of cases of flu and plenty of people sick with flu," says City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley.

The primary strain that's been floating around in early 2013 is A-H3N2, which this year's flu shot will address. However, the CDC advises that it has only been "moderately" effective. Regardless, getting one is your best bet.

[via Gothamist]