Flu Myths – familydoctor.org

Path to better health

What are the most common myths about the flu?

Myth #1: The flu is the same as a cold and is harmless.

It is common to confuse the flu with a cold. Both have similar symptoms and are often treated similarly. However, colds are mild and last longer. The flu usually comes on suddenly and lasts 2 to 3 days. The flu is also contagious and can be dangerous.

Flu symptoms include:

  • Fever of 102°F or higher.
  • Chills and sweats.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Muscle pain and headaches.
  • Chest pain.
  • Cough.
  • Nasal congestion.
  • Loss of appetite.

Myth #2: You can’t die from the flu.

People who have severe cases of the flu or who are at high risk can die from the flu. High-risk people include:

  • Babies or children up to 4 years old.
  • Anyone 65 years or older.
  • Women who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Anyone who has a low or weakened immune system.
  • Anyone who has a chronic health condition.
  • Anyone who lives in a long-term care facility, such as a nursing home.

These people are at greater risk of having health problems that lead to death. It is even more important that they receive an annual flu vaccine. Prevents serious cases or problems related to the flu. It also reduces your chances of hospitalization.

If you are not at high risk, you should still get a flu vaccine. Protect everyone around you. This is especially true if you work in healthcare or care for high-risk individuals.

Myth #3: You won’t get the flu if you get a flu shot.

The flu vaccine helps prevent the flu. Every year, its purpose is to protect you from the main types of flu. However, you can still get the flu. You could have gotten the flu before you got the vaccine. You could also get another type of flu that is not covered by the vaccine. You will most likely have a milder case than if you had not gotten the flu vaccine.

There are other things you can do to reduce your risk of getting the flu. These include:

  • Wash hands frequently.
  • Cover your mouth when sneezing and coughing.
  • Use household cleaning spray to disinfect surfaces and objects.
  • Use hand sanitizer.
  • Wash the clothes of sick people separately from the rest of the clothes.
  • Keep your children, especially newborns, away from anyone who is sick.

Myth #4: You won’t get the flu if you take vitamin C.

Vitamins cannot prevent the flu.

Myth #5: The flu vaccine will give you the flu.

You cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine. This form of vaccine is made up of killed viruses that cannot infect you. The nasal spray flu vaccine is made up of live but weakened viruses. They won’t give you the flu either.

Even though you can’t get the flu from the vaccine, you can have side effects. The injection area may be red, sore, or swollen. You may also have muscle aches, headaches, or a low-grade fever for a short period of time. These effects occur when your body responds to fight the new virus. You may also have flu-like symptoms due to other health problems, such as a bad cold.

Myth #6: You shouldn’t get a flu shot if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

It is important to get a flu shot if you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding. Pregnant people are more likely to need to be hospitalized if they have the flu, so it is very important to get vaccinated. The flu vaccine is safe for you and your baby.

If you don’t get a flu shot and get the flu, you could give it to your baby. Your doctor may prescribe antiviral medications to reduce symptoms. They may also suggest another way of eating until you get better.

Myth #7: You shouldn’t get a flu shot if you have an egg allergy.

Everyone 6 months and older with an egg allergy should receive an annual flu vaccine. Any flu vaccine (egg-based or non-egg-based) that is appropriate for the age and health status of the recipient can be used.

Myth #8: You don’t need to get a flu shot if you are healthy.

It’s good to live a healthy lifestyle, but it can’t prevent the flu. It is an infection that spreads easily. Everyone over 6 months old should get a flu vaccine, except in exceptional cases.

Myth #9: You shouldn’t get a flu shot if you are sick or have already had the flu.

It’s okay to get a flu shot when you have a mild illness. However, your doctor may suggest that you wait until you get better. It’s also okay to get a flu shot if you have cancer.

You should still get a flu shot if you’ve already had the flu. The flu vaccine protects you against several types of viruses.

Myth #10: It is not necessary to get a flu vaccine every year.

The flu is caused by the influenza virus, which can change from year to year. Because of this, the flu vaccine is updated to protect against the main types of flu. You should get a flu shot every year at the beginning of flu season. Flu season occurs in the coldest months of the year, generally October through May.

Myth #11: Everyone should get the flu vaccine the same way.

Because young children and older adults may have a harder time fighting off the flu, there are different vaccines for different ages. Children receiving their first flu vaccine may need two doses, four weeks apart. Special versions of the flu vaccine are made for adults over 65 years of age. They can also use the same vaccine as other adults. If you have questions about which vaccine to use, consult your doctor.

Myth #12: There is a best time to get a flu shot, and if I don’t get it then, it’s not worth doing.

Ideally, people should be vaccinated before the flu begins to spread. The problem is that we don’t know in advance when it will be. In many places, the flu vaccine is available starting in July or August, and for healthy populations under age 65, this is an option. Some children getting vaccinated for the first time need two doses four weeks apart, so starting in July or August might be a good idea for them. Pregnant people should receive the flu vaccine in the last three months of pregnancy to protect them and their children. Because protection against the flu does not last as long in older people, people 65 and older should get the vaccine in September or October.

It’s a good idea for everyone to try to get a flu shot before the end of October. But if you haven’t gotten vaccinated by then, do it later. Remember, flu season is usually worst in February and can last until May.

Myth #13: The flu vaccine will make me more susceptible to COVID-19.

There is no evidence that getting the flu vaccine increases your risk of getting sick from the coronavirus.

Myth #14: I heard that I should get different vaccines at different times.

Getting more than one vaccine at the same visit does not cause any harm and may be very convenient. Talk to your doctor about which vaccines are best for you.

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