Merritt said this flu season is shaping up to be the worst since 2009's H1N1 flu pandemic. And while flu seasons usually peak at the end of January or in early February, he said his year's season might hit its peak in the middle of this month.
"It's hard to say, we're still trending upwards. It's hard to say when we're going to trend back down," he said.
Anyone wishing to get a flu vaccine should do so in the next few days, Merritt said, since the shots take about two weeks to become effective.
He said by all indications, this year's flu vaccine is a good match for the virus affecting most patients.
"The vast majority of influenza cases we're seeing is Influenza A H3, which is one of the more common strains," he said.
That strain is included in this year's vaccine.
For more information about the flu or to get locations for flu vaccine clinics near you, visit www.flu.gov. You also can call the Kanawha-Charleston Health Deparment at 304-348-8067.