Senior Connections

Protect Yourself During Flu Season

HealthCare Partners’ Tenaya Clinic

Fall is here and the doctors at HealthCare Partners would like to remind patients that flu season is fast approaching. This season can start as early as September and last until springtime. Flu season has been known to peak in the months of January and February.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by various forms of the influenza virus. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, each year approximately five to 20 percent of Americans contract the flu. Unlike a common cold, flu symptoms can come on very suddenly. Those who are infected experience a sudden onset of fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, headaches, muscle and body aches.

Due to a wide variety of virus strains, the flu is extremely unpredictable. While most people can recover from the illness within a few days, many experience complications which can be life-threatening such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus or ear infections. Although everyone is at risk for the flu, people older than 65, pregnant women, young children and those suffering from chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, are at an increased risk for these complications.

Protect Yourself

Getting the flu vaccine is the first and most important step towards preventing the flu. Vaccines protect against three or four different flu virus strains and come in various forms, including a shot or nasal spray. The doctors at HealthCare Partners recommend that all people older than six months receive a flu shot once a year.

Preventative actions such as avoiding contact with those who may be sick is important in halting the spread of the flu. As a doctor with HealthCare Partners, during flu season, I advise my patients to wash their hands regularly, stay hydrated and rested, and use caution when coming into contact with others.

Getting vaccinated and practicing simple preventative measures can go a long way in preventing the spread of the flu.

As a patient of HealthCare Partners, we invite you to walk in to any of our clinic locations and get your flu shot. No appointment necessary! Visit to find a location near you.