LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- As flu season approaches, doctors are urging everyone to get the flu vaccine sooner rather than later.
Last year's flu season was one of the deadliest in the last 40 years. Health officials reported it killed at least 80,000 Americans.
"When you look at the numbers, it's the worst flu since 1976," said Dr. Armand Dorian, Chief Medical Officer at Verdugo Hills of USC Medical Center.
Why do so many people get sick? Dorian said disease spreads much faster these days because of our growing dependence on touch technologies. "We are touching so many more things with our smartphones. The potential for transmitting that infection extremely increases," he said.
Early studies show that this year's flu vaccine appears to be a much better match than last year's. Dorian suggested we think of the flu shot as a seat belt. "Just in case you're going to get into an accident, you want your seat belt on," he said, "That's the same mentality we have to have with the vaccination."
According to Dorian, you should try to get your flu shot at least two weeks before Halloween.
"There's a lot of interaction, close contacts. And with all schools being back in play, the potential for you transmitting the flu is extremely high," he said.
Health care employee Elenita Borja offered advice to those who don't like needles: "If you cough at the time that you get the shot, you won't even feel the shot," she said.
Doctors say get your flu shot early this year
CIRCLE OF HEALTH