This year's severe flu season has prompted a major American city to declare a medical emergency.
Boston is being hit especially hard, seeing 10 times the number of flu cases already this year than for the entire flu season last year. City health officials have confirmed 700 cases of the flu.
"I am declaring a public health emergency in the city of boston," Mayor Thomas Menino said.
The flu season began much earlier than last year, with people starting to get sick in October instead of January.
Doctors say the first sign of the flu is a fever as high as 106 degrees along with severe headaches and muscle pains. Later symptoms like a sore throat, stuffy nose, and a cough develop.
That cough along with fatigue can last for weeks. Medical professionals say the best defense is still the flu shot, and many cities are now offering free vaccinations.