The 378 cases of flu reported since December 1st is just about 4 times the total number of cases for the entire flu season for last year.  

Only 105 cases were reported by Southcoast Health System, which runs St. Luke's, Tobey and Charlton Memorial Hospitals, for all of the 2011-2012 season.   Also, the city of Boston has declared a public health emergency, with 700 cases reported in that city.  Mayor Tomas Menino says that is about 10 times as many as there were last year at this time.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that most people who come down with the flu will suffer with severe muscle aches and a high-grade fever for 4 or 5 days.   They also say that the current vaccine is well-matched to this year's flu strains, but is not 100 percent effective.

Is it still worth a shot?   The CDC says yes, because the vaccine does reduce the severity of the illness for those who do get it.