The influenza virus is seen in this graphic from the Centers for Disease Control.

Ketchikan has been hit by the flu, and health-care professionals recommend getting vaccinated.

According to PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center, the hospital recently has seen patients with confirmed cases of the flu.

In a Wednesday news release, Registered Nurse Pamela Standley says an annual flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and others from the flu. Even if the vaccine doesn’t prevent the flu completely, she says it can reduce the severity of symptoms.

Standley says it’s also important to stay home if you get the flu, to avoid spreading the virus. In the news release, PeaceHealth recommends staying home 24 hours after a flu-related fever is gone.

Other ways to protect yourself and others include frequent hand-washing, and covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing.

Last year was the 100th anniversary of the 1918 flu pandemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that up to 50 million died during that outbreak.

The 2017-18 flu season was one of the deadliest in decades with the CDC reporting approximately 80,000 flu-related deaths in just the United States.