The flu is hitting the U.S. earlier than usual this year, and Missouri is no exception.
The Springfield News-Leader reports that statewide, there have already been more than 9,800 cases of the flu this year, more than 16 times the average of the past five flu seasons at this point.
Most of the flu that's been reported so far in Missouri is type B, but type A flu is also being reported in the state.
Officials say the flu season usually doesn't kick in until late January or early February. But the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Missouri is one of 29 states already reporting high levels of flu-like illnesses.