The flu bug is beginning to rear it's ugly head in the Cowboy State and health officials say this year's flu season could be severe.

Wyoming Department of Health spokeswoman Kim Deti says the state is beginning to see a noticeable increase in flu activity, particularly in Sheridan and Campbell Counties.

"We're seeing some here in Laramie County as well, but it's picking up around the state," said Deti. "It's not abnormal for it to kind of get more active in one or two areas first."

"The flu season runs roughly October through May," added Deti. "Typically it (peaks) in January or February, but that can vary from year to year."

Wyoming saw 10 flu-related deaths last season and 29 flu-related deaths in 2014-2015.

"I don't know that we have a prediction for how this season will play out just yet," said Deti. "We know it's coming every year, but we don't always know which strains are going to circulate, how severe it may be or how many cases we might see."

Deti says common-sense measures such as frequently washing your hands, covering your cough and staying home when your sick can help prevent the flu from spreading.

She also encourages folks who've been putting off getting a flu shot to get one.

"It takes about two weeks for that shot to do it's job," said Deti. "So if you wait until everybody around you is already sick you may still become ill and it's not going to be the shot that causes it."

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