An Auburn professor is predicting a really bad flu season, stronger than the last.
He predicts a season that could be on par with the worst in history. When it comes to predicting flu numbers, it turns out it's a small world after all.
Experts say based on how many Australians came down with the flu in their season, the U.S. is in for a jump in flu cases.
Paul Papajohn not only is a doctor and parent, but he's had the flu himself. That's why he makes sure his kids are vaccinated every year.
"We've been lucky to have healthy kids, and they get the vaccine every year. Hopefully, that's part of the reason why," he said.
This year, health experts say it's even more important. They say a good indicator is Australia, in the southern hemisphere, which gets its flu season first.
So far, this year, the flu killed 600 Australians and sickened 250,000. Those numbers are very close to the 2017 season, which was the worst in 20 years in Australia.
Parents like Kelsi Parker tell WAAY 31 they worry about having their kids around all the germs at school.
"As we get into winter, it's like almost every week, somebody is getting sick," Parker said.
Last season, school districts across North Alabama had to close their doors and disinfect as the flu tore through their campuses.
A Madison County Schools representative told WAAY 31 they make the decision to close based on guidelines from the Alabama Department of Health.
North Alabama has had flu cases this year, but the latest report from the state shows nothing right now. Most cases are in Jefferson County and central eastern Alabama.
The health department recommends everyone older than six months get their flu shot by the end of October. To find out when there are free flu shot clinics in Madison County, click HERE.