LA CROSSE, WI -

Local health experts are hoping for a mild flu season, but they say much of that is up to the public.

Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse says the key to preventing a wide-spread flu outbreak is early protection. That means they are urging people to come in as early as possible to get their flu shots.

They say more people have been coming in early compared to last year and that could be because of how many people got sick. "Last year was a severe flu season, so those who got sick last year remember how awful that was so they're coming in and getting protected this year," said Heidi Hackbarth from Mayo.

As always, the two groups at most risk are senior citizens and children. Mayo has specific shots that can help those groups.