EL PASO, Texas - Fall is quickly approaching, which means peak flu season is also on its way, according to City of El Paso Public Heath officials.
Lead epidemiologist for the department Fernado Gonzalez said everyone is susceptible to catch a strain of the flu virus, but the seven months from October through May are when most people fall ill.
Juridia Castillo is a technician at Sun City E.R. in west El Paso. In winter months, she estimates that one in five patients waiting in the lobby is most likely sick with the flu.
"Fever is one of the first signs you get when something is going wrong," said Castillo. "You'r body is trying to tell you ''I'm sick, help me.'"
Getting a vaccination ahead of the virus emerging, Gonzalez said helps "to decrease the intensity and the severity of the flu."
Even if you are vaccinated, city health officials said to remember the Four Cs:
Clean all surfaces, and wash your hands.
Cover your mouth when you cough
Confine yourself, stay home if you have flu-like symptoms.
Call your doctor if things don't get better.
"There's a lot of people think 'Oh, it's just a cold, it's just a cough, it'll go by,' and they stay like that for three weeks," said Castillo. "You never know if it could be something else -- you could have pneumonia, you could have bronchitis."
Gonzalez said infants, the elderly, pregnant women and obese people are most at risk from complications related to contracting the flu.