The region's public health director has urged residents not to be complacent, with several flu deaths in the region this year.
It's shaping up to be a devastating flu season with more than 82,500 reported cases of the flu in Australia so far this year - and the nationwide death toll sitting at 173.
That compares to 14,758 flu notifications across the country at the same time last year, and 35 deaths.
In NSW, flu has killed 49 people this year, and while the exact figures are not available on a district level, Curtis Gregory confirmed there'd been several deaths in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District.
He's issued a warning to residents, with flu cases continuing to rise across the district and already surpassing the cases recorded for the whole of 2018.
By the end of May this year there was 633 cases in the district - a more than 400 per cent increase on the 125 cases from January to May 2018.
The figures are far higher too than the first five months of 2017 - when there had been 203 cases locally ahead of one of the worst flu seasons on record.
There's already been 77 more notifications this month, with the peak flu season (July to September) yet to come.
Mr Gregory said while there'd been a good uptake of the flu vaccine thus far, it wasn't too late for people to have their shot.
"We are seeing a higher than expected number of cases because the pre-season figures have been quite high," he said.
"And it's not just vulnerable people - like the very young, the over 65s and those with chronic conditions - who are getting the flu.
"People who are generally fit and healthy are also getting it, and can also suffer complications and can even die.
"So we'd urge everyone to get the flu vaccine. Because even if they still do get the flu, they'll have some protection and their symptoms will be less severe and the duration of their illness will be shorter."
As well as the vaccine, Mr Gregory said people could take other precautions including practising good hand hygiene, coughing or sneezing into their elbow and not going to work when sick.
The best treatment was rest and rehydration, while painkillers could ease symptoms like headache, muscular aches and pains and fever.
"For the vulnerable especially, such as infants and the elderly, it's important to monitor symptoms closely," he said.
"If there's a spike in temperature, if someone is experiencing respiratory problems - if they're having trouble breathing - or there's a sudden deterioration in their condition, then they should seek medical care."
Mr Gregory said people could ring Healthdirect on 1800 022 222 to get advice from a registered nurse 24/7; or ring Radio Doctor Illawarra (4228 5522) for a GP out of hours. In an emergency they should call Triple 0.
Stocks ran dry, but now replenished
Illawarra residents are being urged to take advantage of a fresh supply of flu vaccines in pharmacies and at GPs this week - after stocks ran dry.
Wollongong pharmacist Asim Iqbal said he was contacting customers who had been put on a waiting list over the past two weeks due to a nationwide shortage of the vaccines.
"Due to a better uptake of the vaccine than pharmaceutical manufacturers had envisaged, supply had run out in the past two weeks," he said.
"However the Australian Government has obtained an additional (800,000) flu vaccines which came into the country last week and now most pharmacies (and GPs) should have stocks again."
Mr Iqbal, who runs Convenience Chemist in Crown Street, urged people to get their shots while stocks were available.
"We know it's already been a bad season, and unfortunately we haven't even got to the peak months of July and August yet," he said.
"So our message is to get it done - people aged 16 to 65 can go into their pharmacy (or to their GP), while the very young or over 65s can get it for free from their GP."
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said more than 12 million flu vaccines had already been distributed across the country, including 7.5 million for government vaccination programs.
He said he'd been working with vaccine companies to ensure a sufficient supply for the private market, which had seen unprecedented demand.