It may only be September, but already, flu season is taking its toll on Colorado.
As of Tuesday, 20 Coloradans have been hospitalized with Type A Influenza, a.k.a. the flu, since Aug. 1, when the state department of health begins tracking "flu season."
"That’s roughly double what we would normally see in Colorado this time of year," Dr. Rachel Herlihy said.
Those are only the people hospitalized. Many others may have had the virus, but avoided hospitalization.
You can read all sorts of health department data here on the flu.
It's not too early to get your flu shot. Once you are vaccinated, it takes about two weeks for the antibodies to develop in your body to become an effective defense against the virus.
Getting a flu shot protects you, as well as those around you, from the spread of the virus.
"One thing we know about influenza; it’s unpredictable," Herlihy said.
Read more about the flu vaccine here.
The government recommends everyone over the age of six months get a flu shot. Those most at risk include young kids, pregnant women, older folks over the age of 65, and people with certain medical conditions.
"We see sporadic cases of influenza occur year round, so really cases can happen any time, but I would say that historically our large outbreaks do occur in the late fall and early winter," Herlihy said.
There are many providers who offer low or no-cost services around Colorado for the vaccine.
You can also get a low-cost flu shot at a 9Health Fair.
9Health Fair's fall season is in full swing. Track down a fair near you here.