The year-end holidays are over now and the annual increases of influenza are right around the corner.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes the timing of the flu is often unpredictable and flu activity varies by region.
According to the agency, which monitors and protects the health of the United States, the flu season typically begins in early October and can last till late May. The flu activity most commonly peaks across the U.S. between December and February.
The CDC recommends annual influenza vaccinations for everyone age 6 months or older as soon as it's available, as early as September.
After receiving the shot, each person will take some weeks to develop the proper antibodies for protection from the virus, which also promotes the concept of getting vaccinated once the new strain is released each season.
"It is a very severe illness, and I think we do it an injustice by speaking of it so lightly," continued Lopez. "It is not mild. There is no such thing as 'a touch of the flu."