Flu season is starting early this year, with severe cases being reported throughout the country.

The earliest start in a decade, health experts at the Center for Disease Control say the 2013 flu season has come weeks ahead of schedule.

While normally flu season does not peak until January and February, 18 fatalities were already reported by the end of December.

So what can you do to prevent getting sick?

Well, along with vaccination, social media is adding new ways to avoid the flu this season.

Numerous new apps, like the “Flu Tracker” or the CDC’s “Influenza App,” allow users to get updated information on the influenza outbreak in your local area.

With information from the CDC, apps like these also provide knowledge as to where people can get vaccinated.

Facebook has also gotten into the app game with “Help, I have the Flu.”

Not only does the app allow you to determine if your symptoms are indeed flu-like — it will even help you determine who got you sick by scanning your friends status updates. “Nothing will make you feel better like finding somebody to blame,” notes the app’s Facebook page.

But for those at high risk, truly worried about getting sick, the CDC still advocates that getting vaccinated is the best form of  flu prevention. And since it takes two weeks for the shot to take full effect, it is best to get the vaccine as soon as possible.

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