By Kelly Werthmann
DENVER (CBS4) – Health officials are urging everyone to get their flu shot this year, but not only that, get it early. That’s because another nasty flu season could be ahead.
“There are already some flu cases reported in the Denver area,” Dr. James Wilk at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital said. “We worry when it comes early because that’s just more time for people to get sick and the flu can kill people.”
Wilk said flu season usually begins around Thanksgiving, but is already underway in Colorado. Doctors are hoping to get more people vaccinated before the worst of the flu season.
“It’s important to get people vaccinated to help reduce the spread of the virus,” said Colleen Morton with Colorado Visiting Nurses.
Adrienne Wolf got her flu shot Wednesday afternoon at a UCHealth clinic. She said it is extremely important for her family to get vaccinated, after her nine-month-old daughter had a tough battle last flu season.
“My daughter was in respiratory failure,” Wolf told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann. “All from a virus. It is so scary to see [your child] in the ICU, see them with IVs, feeding tubes, with full pressure face masks because they can’t breathe.”
Typically, Wolf said her family gets flu shots together. Yet this year she got hers after her husband was diagnosed with the flu last week.
“He went on Tamiflu. I went on Tamiflu, and we actually sent our girls away for the weekend to Grandma and Grandpa’s house because we didn’t want them to get the flu,” she said.
Wilk said it is possible for people to still get the flu after a vaccination, but said the shot can help weaken the virus’ potentially deadly strength. All the more reason why Wolf hopes more families make the special visit to a doctor’s office.
“It is so important,” she said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, everyone six months and older should be vaccinated every year. Flu season can last until May.
Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team as the morning reporter in 2012. After serving as weekend morning anchor, Kelly is now Covering Colorado First for CBS4 News at 10. Connect with Kelly on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @KellyCBS4.