It's being called one of the worst flu outbreaks in history.
The Centers for Disease Control says the flu can spread by personal contact and certain strains can even be airborne.
Virginia is one of 29 states seeing record numbers of flu and complaints of flu-like symptoms.
So people here in Southwest Virginia are taking a proactive approach to keep it from spreading.
The Roanoker Restaurant has been around for over 70-years.
It has a stellar reputation for good,old fashioned comfort food-it also boasts a no-nonsense policy when it comes to sick employees--especially in high flu season.
"If you have a fever, if you're symptomatic, we don't you working. It spreads it, we are in the food business and we do not want to spread it to our customers so it is no tolerance," said owner Butch Craft.
Craft feels taking a proactive approach like that can help ease the spread of one of Virginia's worst-ever flu epidemics-she can't afford to make her customers sick so-she religiously gets the dreaded flu-shot.
"Knock on wood, I've not had the flu for several years, I can't even remember having the flu, but I think they work," said Craft.
And she's not the only who thinks they work. Norma Lee Davis, also gets her yearly flu shot and takes precautions against catching it.
"Try to stay away from people who have colds and flus. Drink a lot of liquids and get a lot of rest," said Davis.
Benjamin Franklin said an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure-in Allison Burnette's case, that old adage didn't hold true.
"I washed my hands go up and put the alcohol sanitizer on my hands and I still got sick," said Burnette.
While he's *now enjoying time with friends and family, the flu took over Burnette's family right at the height of the holiday season.
"My mother and I live together and she was sick Christmas Day, really sick. So we had to hold off on our Christmas traditions for a few days--it was a really bum Christmas," said Burnette
The elderly, children and those with pre-existing health conditions are at the highest risk for the flu.
And it is still important to get the flu shot, even if you haven't.
The Centers for Disease Control say it's always best to get it early but you can get it any time during flu season, even if you get sick.
At the very least, it will reduce the severity and length of the illness.