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MARBLE FALLS — The influenza season typically starts in October and peaks from December to February; however, this year, health care workers warn that more severe and widespread infection could emerge if patients fail to take precautions.

“Flu season has come early this year. We’ve already had multiple confirmed cases in the area, so it’s important to get your flu vaccine as soon as possible,” said Dr. Peter Davenport, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Marble Falls. “Go anywhere you can get one.”

Davenport is the head of the facility’s Family Medicine Department.

With several reported cases so far, the chance of contracting the flu has risen, but early detection and action can provide some relief.

“If you think you have the flu then go to the clinic immediately to start treatment, which can stop it from getting severe,” Davenport said.

To help prevent the spread of influenza, health care experts recommend:

• frequent hand washing

• covering your mouth when coughing (either with a tissue or the inside bend of your arm);

• disinfecting public surfaces and/or frequently used and shared devices;

• getting plenty of sleep, managing stress, eating nutritiously, and drinking plenty of fluids;

• and staying away from people when sick with the flu.