8 Facts and Myths About The Flu

Flu Steward Health Care

Can you separate flu myths from facts?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Antibiotic medications aren’t helpful in treating flu symptoms. True.
    Influenza is a viral infection, so it can’t be treated with antibacterial antibiotics.
  7. 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.
  8. 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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