FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — With wintery months always comes the annual flu season, but this year’s season has made its presence known much earlier than normal.

WANE 15 spoke with Allen County Health Commissioner Thomas Gutwein about the details surrounding this year’s flu season so far.

Gutwein said flu outbreaks typically happen around Christmas, making this season an early one.

He also believes changing attitudes from people with the COVID-19 pandemic in the rearview mirror is one reason for the outbreak.

“COVID at this time last year was really a disaster,” Gutwein said. “This year, people don’t have that concern, so they’re out in the community more.”

Gutwein also acknowledged the 2021 flu season was “light” and said harsh flu seasons typically follow light seasons.

As a result, Gutwein expects to see many flu cases in the area over the next 6 to 12 weeks.