New data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows high levels of flu across the country. Local physicians are urging people to avoid certain activities that could put someone at higher risk for getting infected.

Dr. Alan Von Gremp at American Family Care, said their doctors are seeing about twice as many patients now than their average day.

"Fever, chills, headaches, and body aches traditionally with a very sudden or rapid onset,” he explained.

So far this flu season the CDC says almost 42,000 cases have been reported across the country, which is nearly three times more than this time last season.

"It doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be a worse year, it's just a little earlier this year and every year is different,” Von Gremp said.

Dr. Von Gremp said the flu virus spreads through droplets, which can come from things we are exposed to every day.

We’ve all heard of the importance of washing your hands, but did you know there are certain habits that can make you more prone to getting ill?

AFC doctors encourage regular exercise, and if your New Year’s resolution includes going to the gym, know that you could weaken your immune system if you over exert yourself.

"Gradually build up so you're not putting out too much effort and getting overly fatigued, that's your greatest concern,” he explained.

Not drinking enough water you could also weaken your immune system, opening yourself up to possible infection.

Also, if you're adjusting your diet in 2018, do your research. Ditching bread and certain fruits is at the center of several low carb diets, but whole grains are good for your gut during flu season.

Rice, oats and buckwheat can build healthy bacteria in your stomach. 

Research by the American Physiological Society concluded a substance found in fruit and vegetables called quercetin reduced the likelihood of flu in mice.

Smokers should beware too. Electronic cigarettes could make you more at risk of picking up germs. The vapor triggers inflammation and could get infected.

"When you breathe in those flu virus droplets, they're just going to be more likely to attack and stick to an irritated area,” von Gremp explained.

If you are starting to feel sick, don't try to be a superhero and do it all. Doctors say stay home from either work or school and don't even run errands like to the drug store to get medicine.

When you have a fever, you should always stay home at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.

Last year at this time, the outbreak was widespread in 12 states. This year there are 46.

And we're not in the clear yet. The peak of the season is still weeks away. Doctors said this year's peak came about two weeks earlier than usual.

AFC physicians advise getting the flu shot and taking a few everyday preventive measures to boost your chances of avoiding the flu.      

5 Habits That Help You Prevent The Flu:

1.   Avoid sharing pens. Whether at work or signing a credit card receipt at a store, never pick up a public pen because they’re covered with other people’s germs.? Keep a pen handy for any situation that could pop up.   

2.   Knuckle it. ? When using a debit card machine, get into the habit of punching in your card pin with a knuckle instead of a fingertip.? This way if you rub your eye or mouth with your fingertip, you’re not transferring germs.  

3.   Play it safe at the pump.? Drivers must get gas for their vehicles no matter what, sick or not.  Protect yourself at the pump, grab a paper towel before picking up the gas nozzle.? You can also use the paper towel as a barrier when punching in your debit/credit card info.?  

4.  Shake and Wash. People are more germ-conscious these days so avoiding a handshake is not as rude as once thought, especially during flu season.? If you must do it, wash or sanitize with your hands immediately.  

5.   Hands off, please! ? You are constantly using either your phone or computer tablet to show friends and coworkers pictures or videos. This means other people are putting their germs on something you are constantly touching.? Get into the habit of wiping your phone down with a disinfecting wipe to cut down on spreading germs. OR just text your friends photos and videos!