The Middlesex-London Health Unit is reporting the first flu-related death in the area, and says influenza activity is on the rise.

The most recent report for Jan. 6-12, shows 22 lab-confirmed cases of influenza A, with eight hospitalizations and one death in the region.

The health unit says that activity is increasing across the province, with the majority of cases being influenza A, and only low influenza B activity.

Anyone who has not yet received the flu vaccine is encouraged to get it as soon as possible, as it takes about two weeks for optimal protection.

In addition to the vaccine, everyone is reminded to wash their hands or use hand sanitizerr to help prevent illness.