Get vaccinated and stay home if you are sick - that's the message from Victoria's health minister as this year's flu outbreak gets worse and spreads.

"We've had 31 confirmed flu deaths so far this year, the vast majority of those elderly members of the community living in nursing homes," Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said to reporters on Monday, "But sadly, of those deaths, three have been in children."

Since the Flu Season started late last year, more than 18,600 people have been diagnosed - not only higher than normal by earlier than usual.

"That's nine times more than the same time last year," said Ms. Mikakos.  "So we have seen a very significant spike in flu cases in recent weeks."

She's not only urging people to stay home if they're sick, but to keep sick kids at home as wel and don't take them to school or day care.

"This is how the flu is spreading across the community," she warned, "It's really important that people take heed of those simple precautions."