Flu season arrived early in Windsor and it's worse than last year.

The Windsor Essex County Health Unit said there have been 36 confirmed cases this flu season. That's more than it had counted by the end of January in 2012.

The health unit's chief medical officer, Dr. Allen Heimann, called it "a significant increase."

There were 11 cases of the flu reported, during the weekend between Christmas and New Year's Eve alone.

Heimann said the cold weather is part of the reason for the increase in the number of cases.

"Last year, we had very few numbers of flu cases. We had a warm winter, and the flu virus does much better when it's cold," Heimann said.

Karen McCullogh, the chief nursing executive at Windsor Regional Hospital, said the emergency room is busy with people feeling the effects of flu-like symptoms.

"Just going by the number of patients that are presenting to our emergency department, we're seeing about 20-30 more cases a day than typical," she said.

Heimann said there could be a lot more cases of the flu yet to come.

He also said the main rush on flu shots is over but said it's not too late to get one.