How to protect yourself from the flu

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DENVER -- Last year, some called the flu season the worst in a decade. This year, the flu virus is off to a slow and late start, but doctors are warning people not to be caught off guard.

Doctors say the flu virus is hard to predict and just because we haven't seen a high number of flu cases this season doesn't mean it's not coming.

Nextcare’s Dr. Erick Gomer said urgent cares across the metro are now starting to an increase in the number of people coming in to be treated for cold and flu-like symptoms.

Gomer also said the good news with the late start is that it's giving people who haven't gotten a flu shot more time to do so.

“It takes about one to two weeks to give you immunity and because we haven’t seen a lot of it in the community, that can give you a lot of protection,” Gomer said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 60 people have tested positive for the influenza virus since the start of the flu season in October. Of those, 12 tested positive since the latest CDC report ending on Jan. 2.

There are other ways to protect from the cold and flu: Make sure to wash your hands throughout the day, carry hand sanitizer and if you're coughing or around others who are, a mask can help stop the spread of germs.