PHOENIX (AP) - As of Dec. 20, Arizona has seen 2,976 reported cases of flu.

At the same point last year, there were just 347 cases, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

That's a 758 percent increase in flu activity.

Health officials say during the past two flu seasons, Arizona did not reach widespread activity until February.

“Getting a flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and your family against the flu, and with the disease spreading quickly in Arizona the time to get vaccinated is now,” said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. “It can take up to two weeks to build full immunity to the flu after you are vaccinated, so I encourage everyone who has not yet had a flu shot to get one today before the holidays.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months receive the influenza vaccine each season.