The flu season is under way in Utah.

State health officials have confirmed the first case of influenza type A.Other cases of influenza type A have been reported this season, but this is the first confirmed in state laboratories, said Dr. David J. Thurman, medical epidemiologist for the Utah Department of Health.

The influenza was found in a Salt Lake County resident, he said.

Most influenza symptoms are similar to those of the common cold but usually are more severe. They may include fever, chills, fatigue and weakness, cough, muscular aches and pains and nasal congestion.

Influenza can be severe and sometimes is fatal to those with weakened immune systems, such as the elderly.

Thurman said the peak influenza season typically runs from January to March, but past cases have been seen from November to April.

The state health department recommends that anyone over 65 or others whose immune system may be compromised get a flu shot from a clinic or private physician.

"Influenza will be around three to four months," said Thurman. "Flu shots may not offer full protection for the first couple of weeks but they will after that."