The number of Aucklanders going to the doctor with flu-like symptoms is almost four times higher than usual, with tests showing about 65 per cent of those people do have influenza.
But if you're watching your colleagues cough and splutter and are wondering about getting the flu vaccine, you may be too late, with the national stockpile already exhausted.
The latest figures from the Institute of Environment Science and Research show the number of people in the Auckland District Health Board area going to the doctor with an influenza-like illness was 171 per 100,000 people in the week ending June 23.
That's compared with the historic national average of 46.1 for the same week in previous years.
And of every 171 sick Aucklanders, about 111 of them really do have the flu.
The influenza-positive illness rate is up nationally as well with 31 people per 100,000 being confirmed to have the flu compared to an average of 5.79 at the same time in other years - although the number of cases overall is on par with previous seasons.
While experts say the number of flu cases so far this winter is not out of the ordinary, it seems we are unlikely to get away with another mild season.
Immunisation Advisory Service director Dr Nikki Turner said the last two flu seasons had been very mild but this year the rates were already starting to climb.
"We could be seeing flu earlier and more of it than in the last two seasons," she said.
"It's too early to tell what it's going to look like but we have to be prepared that we're going to see a fair bit of flu.
"It's looking like at the moment, particularly in Auckland, there's a lot of flu."
But as winter continued to get colder and wetter, the national flu vaccine stockpile has already been exhausted.
More than 1.33 million doses of the influenza vaccine had been distributed to health practitioners around the country this winter - more than last year's all-time record of 1.3m for the entire season.
Turner said the uptake of the vaccine was increasing each year but media reports of the outbreak in Australia and a few people who had died from the flu already in New Zealand may have encouraged more people this year.
And it seemed the vaccine was covering the strains most commonly being seen so far this year, she said.
Most general practice clinics were running low with her Wellington practice down to its last two vaccines, Turner said.
"There is a concern. We're hoping the majority of people who need the flu vaccine have already got it because it's pretty late in the season anyway but there is a worry that high risk people cannot access the vaccine."
Doctors were trying to preserve any remaining stock for very high-risk people such as pregnant women, she said.
Pharmac said demand for the flu vaccine was an international issue and with Australia also experiencing very high demand this year there was no surplus stock available to be sourced from across the ditch.
Otago University infectious diseases Professor Michael Baker said while the rate so far was not exceptional, the virus caused deaths every year.
Studies had shown about 500 people died from influenza in New Zealand every year but there was no one agency which collected mortality data.
"What the flu does to you is it gives you a huge inflammatory reaction so it infects your lung tissue and your body then fights it off. It's a battle for life and death essentially - if your body didn't fight it you'd succumb very rapidly," he explained.
However, most people who died from the flu had other underlying conditions, he said.
"The inflammatory response is very vigorous and that can do additional damage. It actually compromises you respiration and your circulation for a period. And if you have underlying severe illness that may mean you decompensate so your body's no longer able to function."