MADISON, Wis. (AP) — State health officials say the flu season is off to an early start in Wisconsin.

Officials say from the start of the month through the end of this work week there have been 19 confirmed cases of influenza in the state. Eight people have been hospitalized. There were five cases reported in that same time period a year ago.

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State Health Officer Karen McKeown says the results show that people should get their flu shots as soon as possible.

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Common signs of the virus include abrupt onset of fever, muscle aches, sore throat and cough.

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