THE BRONX - Officials are reporting that this year's flu season is already shaping up to be one of the worst in a decade.

In New York City, authorities report a 55 percent spike in confirmed cases over the last week.

Dr. Nora Estaban, of Montefiore Children's Hospital, recommends everyone get the flu vaccine, which takes five minutes and could save a life.

She also says that people should know the difference between a cold and the flu. "Usually a cold will not come with fever," she says. "Flu usually comes with high fever, cough and symptoms of a cold initially, but progresses very quickly, so the person really feels quite ill."

Estaban also explains that the the flu shot can not cause the sickness since the vaccine is derived from a dead virus.

Estaban adds that people feeling sick shouldn't rush to the hospital. People should stay home from work, or keep kids home from school and see if symptoms worsen.

While at home, make sure to keep your hands clean, drink plenty of fluids and get a lot of rest.