Officials at Mercy Medical Center and UnityPoint/St. Luke's Hospitals in Cedar Rapids report an increase in flu cases as the new year begins.

Norovirus and flu are contracted in similar ways but have different symptoms. Norovirus symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain whereas flu sufferers may experience headaches, coughing and body aches. The last 10 days have been especially rough at area medical centers.

42 flu cases have been reported already this past week at St. Lukes, which is a huge increase from this same week last year when there were only 9. Norovirus reports are typically at 4 per month, but 33 have already been reported as of December 28th.

Doctors say it's not too late to get your flu shot, and to avoid contracting or spreading illness, always wash your hands and don't prepare food for others if you're feeling sick.

Find out more about what you can do to prevent catching and spreading the flu here.

[Via KCRG]