It seems like the flu gets worse every year, and the 2017-2018 flu season is no exception.

According to the CDC, this winter's flu is shaping up to be the most severe outbreak since 2014. WQAD reports that three people have already died in Rock Island County from the illness. Although all three were over the age of 60, that doesn't mean the flu isn't deadly for younger people, and illnesses always hit children especially hard.

So what can you do to prevent the flu? The CDC recommends getting the flu shot, despite the fact that its effectiveness is reportedly low this year. Otherwise, the LA Times says to be vigilant about washing your hands, avoid touching your face since germs spread easily through your eyes, nose, and mouth, and stay away from those who are sick. It may sound silly, but if you need to visit the doctor, dentist, or other public offices, consider wearing a face mask, especially if you're immune compromised. Better safe than sorry.

And if you find yourself feeling under the weather with flu-like symptoms (such as a headache, fever, chills, body aches, etc), don't take any chances. Get to the doctor ASAP, Rock Island County Coroner Brian Gustafson says.

"People think, oh I just have the flu. People don't realize the flu can kill you. When it lasts three, four, five or six days and you're not getting any better, you become incredibly dehydrated and your electrolytes get way out of balance and your heart can't function...If you have the flu and it lasts for days at a time, give your doc a call. Go to the emergency room."