Flu season has begun early this year in Colorado. Hundreds of students in Fort Collins missed school this week due to illness. And El Paso County is already seeing a few cases.
Health experts say the influenza virus doesn't usually hit the state until
after Christmas, which means we are probably in for a longer season than usual.
In an effort to minimize exposure to the flu, Memorial Hospital is offering free flu shots to all its employees. Officials say its as much to keep the patients safe, as it is for the workers. The vaccinations work to prevent "Type A" Influenza, the most common strain. "I get a flu shot every year. I work in hospital---I'm around a lot of ill patients," says Scott Rucker, a hospital employee.
There are already 13 confirmed cases of influenza in El Paso County, so immunizations efforts like this are aimed at avoiding a long hard flu season. "The numbers will only get greater, and we need to protect oruselves. Get our flu shots as soon as possible," says Anne Dennis, an infection prevention specialist.
Experts say getting vaccinated is the first step, and making sure to practice good hygiene, like washing your hands, will also help prevent you from getting sick.
Memorial Hospital's next Flu Shot Clinic: