8 Facts and Myths About The FluFlu
Can you separate flu myths from facts?
- Since the flu season runs from October to May, it’s useless getting vaccinated after the season begins. False.
While it’s best to get vaccinated in the fall, a shot in January can still help keep you healthy, especially during the flu’s peak in February.
- Getting the flu can make you seriously ill. True.
Influenza can lead to pneumonia and other life-threatening complications. About 36,000 Americans — mostly age 65 and older — die each year from the flu.
- Once you get a flu shot, you’ve done all you can to prevent flu. False.
You can enhance your immune system’s ability to fight influenza by eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, exercising moderately, managing stress, and avoiding drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
- Taking a multivitamin is the best thing you can do to avoid getting the flu. False.
Getting vaccinated is your best flu-prevention strategy, reducing your chances of catching the flu by up to 80 percent.
- Flu is most often spread by intimate contact, like kissing. False.
Flu is generally spread when people cough or sneeze virus-infected droplets into the air.
- Antibiotic medications aren’t helpful in treating flu symptoms. True.
Influenza is a viral infection, so it can’t be treated with antibacterial antibiotics.
- The flu shot can actually cause you to get the flu. False.
You won’t get the flu, but you may have minor side effects like a runny nose, headache, sore throat or cough.
- If you got a flu shot last year, you don’t need to get one this year. False.
You need a flu vaccination every year since a shot’s ability to protect you wears off. Plus, the flu vaccine is updated annually to include the most current strains of the flu.
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