Flu season is just beginning with cases on the rise nationwide, just as kids are heading back to school.

Flu season is just beginning with cases on the rise nationwide, just as kids are heading back to school.

"I've read a few things about kids dying, especially young children, or getting severe in children," said Alicia Wilkinson, mom of two.

With cases in the Rochester area still moderately low, doctors say they're likely to peak as classes resume.

"Often the flu is transmitted by kids and then their parents get it so we will see, now that school started, whether that helps spread it around," said Dr. Edward Walsh, head of the Infectious Diseases Department at Rochester General Hospital.

Dr. Walsh says RGH has only seen a handful of cases so far this season but adds it is just the beginning. The flu season lasts until May with the peak hitting from January through March.

The predominant strain this season is the H1N1, the same strain that triggered the flu pandemic back in 2009.

Walsh says predicting flu season is hard to do, but doesn't anticipate it'll be bad and says it's all thanks to vaccinations.

"The population as a whole starts to become immune and so the illnesses tend to not be as severe as the 2009 year," explained Walsh.

In 2009, H1N1 was a new strain that has since been added to flu vaccinations.

"Individuals who become infected can still be very sick," said Walsh, who indicated this strain impacts more children.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there have been more than 1,000 flu hospitalizations since October - many of them for children under age four.

The Monroe County Health Department reports 66 total flu cases this season, six of them at RGH.

Dr. Walsh says last flu season was one of the worse, second to 2009, with nearly 800 hospitalizations at RGH. The outbreak was so bad this time last year they had visitor restrictions on the hospital.

Even with case numbers currently low, Dr. Walsh says we haven't hit the peak and advises families to get vaccinated.