ST. CLOUD -- The time for runny noses, sore throats and the dreaded flu will soon be upon us. Doctors and nurses are reminding you to get your flu shot early to limit your chances of getting the virus.

Dr. George Morris is the Medical Director for CentraCare Health. He says while the peak season is usually February, they are expecting an early start this year.

"Many times in Minnesota we won't see peak flu season until February. However there are many parts of the country and in our clinic that are seeing influenza symptoms already. It does seem to be starting a little earlier this year."

It's important to wash your hands and cover your mouth often when coughing or sneezing.

Morris says as we transition to being inside more often, it's a good idea to get a flu shot before spreading it to family, friends and co-workers.

"It is nice to get the flu shot before the holiday season's start. So getting it now before Thanksgiving and Christmas when we are spending time with our families is a great idea."

Morris says it takes about two weeks for your body to develop antibodies to fight the virus and is effective until Spring.

If you would like to schedule a time to get your flu shot you're asked to contact your local clinic.