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Flu season occurs ever year between December and March. In some cases, activity can last through May. When it comes to the flu, there are many misconceptions and myths. It is a good idea to be able to differentiate between truth and myth. Below are 10 common misconceptions that people have regarding the flu.
The Flu Isn’t Different Than Having a Bad Cold
Symptoms of the flu and a very bad cold are very similar. You can have a stuffy nose, cough, chills, and a fever. While the flu usually causes a higher grade fever than a cold, your fever can still reach 103 with a bad cold.
The Flu Vaccine Doesn’t Really Work
While it is true that the flu vaccine doesn’t always work, it works most of the time. According to the CDC, it works in 60 percent of the people who get the flu vaccine don’t develop the flu.
The Flu Vaccine Will Give You the Flu
Many people avoid getting the flu shot because they are worried that they will get the flu. The traditional flu vaccine does not contain the flu virus. The FluMist vaccine does contain the flu virus, however, it is not enough to get you sick.
If You Get the Flu Shot Too Early, It Will Wear Off
Many people believe that if you get the flu shot too early in the season that the antibodies will be gone before flu season ends. This is not true. The immunity that you gain from the flu vaccine can last through flu season. For some people, the immunity will last over a year.
If You Got Vaccinated Last Year, You Won’t Need To Get Vaccinated This Year
The flu virus is constantly mutating. Because of this, you will need a shot every year to protect you against the current strain.
If You Haven’t Caught the Flu By December, You Probably Won’t
Most people believe that if they haven’t caught the flu by December that they are safe for the year. The truth is that the month with the most reported cases of the flu is February.
If You Go Out in the Cold Weather You Have a Better Chance of Catching the Flu
In order to get the flu, you would need to come into contact with someone who has the flu virus. It’s true that people do get the flu most during the cold weather, however, this is only because flu season is between December and March when the weather is cold.
The Stomach Flu is the Same as Influenza
The stomach flu is not the same as influenza. The symptoms are completely different and the flu is caused by the influenza virus and the stomach flu is often caused by the norovirus.
Children Get Autism From the Flu Shot
Some parents believe so strongly that the flu virus causes autism, that they don’t have their children immunized at all. The truth is, there is no scientific evidence that links immunizations and autism.
Antibiotics Treat the Flu
Antibiotics will not treat the flu. The flu is a virus and antibiotics fight against bacterial infections. If you have the flu and it is caught early enough, you doctor can prescribe an antiviral such as Tamiflu. This medication will cut the time that you suffer from the flu symptoms in half.
If you understand the truths and the misconceptions regarding the flu, you will have a better understand of the disease. The better you understand it, the better your chances are of fighting it off.