KEY POINTS
  • The U.S. winter flu season is off to its earliest start in more than 15 years.
  • An early barrage of illness in the South has begun to spread more broadly, and there's a decent chance flu season could peak much earlier than normal, health officials say.
  • Some experts think the early start may mean a lot of suffering is in store, but others say it's too early to tell.
A man receives a flu shot at a free clinic.

The U.S. winter flu season is off to its earliest start in more than 15 years.

An early barrage of illness in the South has begun to spread more broadly, and there's a decent chance flu season could peak much earlier than normal, health officials say.