Seasonal flu prevention and care

Influenza (“the flu”) is caused by the influenza virus that infects the respiratory tract, affecting the nose, throat and lungs.

The flu can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications, like bacterial pneumonia and dehydration. It can also cause chronic medical conditions to worsen.

Because each flu season is different and the virus evolves over time, the infectious disease specialists at UCHealth continually monitor the latest developments. We’re equipped with the latest tools for detecting, treating and preventing the flu in our communities.

Flu prevention

The best way to protect against the flu is to get a flu shot every year. A flu shot will reduce the risk of getting and spreading influenza. Reducing the number of people who get the flu, and hospitalizations that can result from it, is critical as we work to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Primary care patients at UCHealth: schedule your flu shot online via My Health Connection.

If you are not a primary care patient at UCHealth, but would like to establish care with one of our primary care providers and get your flu shot, we invite you to find a location that’s most convenient for you and schedule an annual exam online or via phone.

We’re taking necessary measures at all of our facilities, including:

  • Touchless eCheck-in
  • Frequent cleanings

Flu shots: questions and answers

Who should get the flu shot?

Almost anyone more than six months old should get the flu vaccine—especially very young children, anyone over the age of 65, anyone with respiratory issues or weakened immune systems, and pregnant women.

What is the best way to protect against the flu?

The best thing you can do is get the flu shot every year, right before the season starts. UCHealth will make flu shots available earlier than normal this year, as it takes two weeks for your flu shot to achieve full immunity.

Is the flu really that bad?

The flu may just be a virus, but it is highly contagious and active. Getting the flu can make you feel miserable and can lead to other complications like pneumonia, which can make even healthy people very sick.

Tests and treatments

  • Flu vaccines
  • Tests for influenza
    • Physical examination – your doctor may diagnose based on symptoms.
    • Rapid antigen detection tests – a blood test that detects influenza.
    • Fluorescent antibody tests – to differentiate between several upper respiratory viruses, influenza A and influenza B.
  • Treatments for influenza
    • Antiviral medications – prescription medications that treat the flu.
    • Hospitalization – when influenza causes severe illness. This includes treatment for dehydration.