JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Many doctors and pediatricians in Mississippi are bracing for a surge of flu cases this year.

Dr. Geri Weiland, a pediatrician at Merit Health River Region, said pediatricians have seen an increase in flu cases this past week.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), children younger than the age of five and especially those younger than two are at a higher risk of developing complications due to the flu.

Weiland said her clinic has seen influenza cases earlier than usual this year.

“In my clinic, we are seeing some flu but not what I call at the epidemic cases yet,” said Weiland. “We want to start be aware of the flu as early as possible considering this and the anti-virals that are available for children and even adults.”

Weiland said her clinic started administering flu shots as early as August. She suggested that patients receive the flu vaccine as soon as possible.

“Any child over six months can get a the flu vaccine,” said Weiland. “This is important as the flu vaccine changes every year as well as the flu itself.”

To learn more about the flu vaccines for children, click here.