NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— With lower temperatures, there’s a higher risk of getting sick, and local doctors say that’s the case in the Greater New Orleans area with an unusual flu outbreak early in the season.

“The 31 percent test positivity rate that we have of influenza right now is the highest its been this year,” Dr. Kline said.

Dr. Kline at Children’s Hospital New Orleans says the flu is spreading rapidly especially among kids right now and what’s strange is how early in the season this is happening.

“I have concerns as we get into December and January that we will be seeing even more cases. What we are seeing now is typical for the middle of winter in a bad flu season, but we’re not even to winter yet,” he said.

One of the places kids are catching and spreading the flu is at school.

“At St. Catherine of Siena we have already had a lot of kids out with the flu this year,” 3rd grade teacher Emily Douglas said.

Douglas says she’s doing her best to keep her students from getting sick.

“I’m constantly having to remind them to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze and always wash their hands. I have GermX in multiple places in my classroom and Kleenex to ensure we are keeping everyone healthy,” she said.

Dr. Kline wants to parents to know that the best protection against the flu is hand washing, staying away from indoor gatherings, and vaccines for kids six months and up.