Warrnambool has had 10 times the amount of cases of flu in 2019, with more than a month of winter remaining.
Department of Health data reveals there have been 251 confirmed cases of influenza in 2019, compared to 25 in 2018.
Warrnambool's Kelly Walters was recently hospitalised for several nights with Influenza A.
The 37-year-old, who has Down syndrome, had been unwell and was suffering from shortness of breath.
When she was unable to talk to her sister on the phone due to breathing issues, her mother Gerry Walters called an ambulance.
"They put her straight into ICU," Ms Walters said.
"It was full of people with the flu."
Ms Walters said doctors initially thought Kelly was having an asthma attack but a test revealed she had the flu.
Kelly said she was pleased to be home, but was glowing about the treatment she received in hospital.
"They were nice," she said.
Ms Walters said she was concerned about her daughter contracting the flu because her immune system had already been affected by an ear infection.
She contracted the virus despite getting a flu shot.
Warrnambool GP Dr Surinder Singh said he had treated a high number of people with the flu.
"The flu season started a bit early and there have been a lot more cases," he said.
Dr Singh said it wasn't too late to get a flu shot and that was the best way to protect against contracting the virus.
He said people who had the flu should take three to five days off work to avoid passing it on to colleagues.
Dr Singh said the most common symptoms were fever, a sore throat, aching body and a cough.
South West Healthcare's community partnerships manager Suzan Morey said anyone suffering from flu-like symptoms should visit their GP.
"Emergency departments are incredibly busy medical treatment facilities that provide acute care," Ms Morey said.
"Anything that's deemed not to be an acute medical need like, for example, a person wanting a medical certificate for their employer, is referred to a GP clinic.
"Each morning, the triage nurse in our Warrnambool emergency department speaks with local GP clinics (including ours, in Warrnambool Community Health) to find who has spare appointments. Then, people with non-urgent needs, such as those wanting a medical certificate, are provided with this information."
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.