Flu cases in Bendigo are 12 times higher than at the same time last year, according to data from the Victorian Department of Health.
The latest report shows 266 people have been diagnosed with the highly contagious viral infection in Bendigo this year - up from the 21 reported cases at the same time in 2018.
There has also been an increase of more than 140 cases in the city in the past six weeks.
The Victorian Government has urged people to immunise themselves immediately against the viral infection.
"The flu isn't like the common cold, it can hit quickly and last for weeks, meaning time off work or school and staying away from family and friends," a Department of Health spokesperson said.
"The best defence against the flu is with the flu shot. Everyone should get an annual flu shot now to be protected for the peak flu season, which is generally June to September."
There have been more than 23,000 diagnosed cases in Victoria so far this year, including 50 flu-related deaths in the state.
In the Loddon Mallee region alone, there have been 959 cases in the year to date - more than 13 times the number of cases at the same time last year.
"If you are unwell, the best way to avoid spreading the flu is to stay at home," a department spokesperson said. "Avoid going to work or school or visiting busy public places and vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly.
"For vulnerable Victorians, like children, the elderly, and pregnant women, the flu can have serious and devastating outcomes."
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