We’ve all gotten the flu at least once in our life. You feel weak, nauseous and dying. We’ve also all heard of a flu myth that may have ruined our medical belief at some point. So we are here to debunk these flu myths.
Myth: Young, healthy people don’t need to worry about the flu.
Truth: The influenza virus is more threatening to the elderly and children than the young and healthy it is still possible for them to contact the virus. Even if you are not part of the high risk group, getting a flu shot can save you from hospitalization.
Myth: You can catch the flu from the flu shot
Truth: YOU CAN’T GET FLU FROM THE FLU SHOT. The vaccine is made with deceased viral particles, making it impossible to infect you. This myth was started from the misconception of the formation of antibodies. It takes roughly two weeks for the body to create antibodies after the vaccine. You are still prone to contracting the flu in those two weeks.
Myth: The flu includes gastrointestinal symptoms
Truth: The stomach flu and the in-FLU-enza virus are two different things. Flus can sometimes have symptoms of gastrointestinal problems like vomiting and nausea. If you suffer from these symptoms without the symptoms of the flu, you may have contacted another type of bacteria or virus.
Myth: Pregnant women can’t get a flu shot
Truth: Pregnant women are advised to get the flu vaccine as soon as possible. The vaccine can protect the mother and the child during the first few months of pregnancy. These can lessen the chances of flu, even after childbirth.
Myth: You can stop the flu by washing your hands a lot
Truth: Washing your hand can prevent bacteria, but it is not enough to fight off the flu. Influenza spreads through the air and can contaminate spoons, clothes or any part of the skin. Avoid people who have the flu, the influence virus can only survive within 8 hours.
Myth: If you get the flu, the shot didn’t work
Truth: Flu vaccines are only 60 to 90% effective. That is because of the different viral pressure every year. The Flu can be unpredictable and changing. If you contract the flu after the flu shot only means you contacted a different form of flu that the vaccine wasn’t able to cover. The flu shot will still be effective, it can protect your body from getting severe side effect of the flu. These vaccines can prevent hospitalization or death.
Myth: Antibiotics can fight the flu
Truth: NO, antibiotics do NOT fight the flu. Antibiotics do not work on viruses. The only medication that may help you get relief from the flu is antivirals, OTC acetaminophen, ibuprofen or preventive flu shots.
Myth: Bell’s palsy is a side effect of the flu shot
Truth: Bell’s palsy is a condition that mainly weakens or numbs one side of the face. It is triggered by viral infections. The myth started when decades ago patients that were given the flu vaccine developed Bell’s palsy. Yet, there has been no link connecting the two together.
Myth: Flu shots can cause Alzheimer’s
Truth: Flus shots do not cause illnesses or other health conditions. Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or other cognitive diseases have no known cause at the moment. The myth was associated with Alzheimer’s because older people are required to take a flu shot every year. The elderly are more prone to the flu, hence the yearly shot, but memory loss and flu shots are two unrelated things.
You can catch the flu at any season. The next time you catch the flu remember these myths and treat yourself properly. Share this with your friends and family to help them expose these flu myths.