Influenza is beginning to make its mark on Kentucky — early cases have been found in two larger urban areas.

The traditional flu season in the state begins in the fall and runs through March, sometimes later. State Epidemiologist Kraig Humbaugh said the early cases have been reported in Louisville and northern Kentucky.

“We’ve begun to recognize our first cases of influenza this season here in Kentucky, which tells us the flu is definitely starting to circulate here in the state,” said Humbaugh.

Humbaugh said there are both lab and rapid test positive results for flu. The state health official realizes it’s early in the season. “We’re reporting now our lowest level, which is sporadic, but it means that there is circulating flu here but it is just at the beginning of the season,” added Humbaugh.

Humbaugh said this year’s flu vaccine is expected to offer better protection than last year.

He said the flu shot is the best preventive step for anyone six months and older.