Every year we brace our bodies for the flu. We get a flu shot, bundle up in the cold, and drink lots of fluids hoping that the “sickness of the year” doesn’t reach us. Everyone thinks they know how to prevent the flu, but do they really?
We’ve decided to play myth busters and help you out with your flu knowledge. So before you run to the bathroom every five minutes to wash your hands, read about these 7 myths we’ve busted. Learn the facts from the fiction and then decide how you’d like to proceed this winter season (preferably with FLU-ency).
Myth #1: You Can Catch the Flu From the Flu Shot:
No, you simply can’t. The virus in your flu shot is not living. It is made with dead viral particles; therefore, it cannot infect you. It takes 2 weeks for your body to form antibodies, so if you catch the flu right after you’ve received the shot, it’s probably because the virus hasn’t become active in your system yet.
Myth #2: Healthy People Don’t Need to be Vaccinated:
Don’t let your youth and healthy body fool you. Yes, the flu is more threatening to the very young, the elderly, and people with illnesses, but it does not mean you’re incapable of contracting the sickness – it just more than likely won’t be as harmful.
Myth #3: Pregnant Women Can’t Receive a Flu Shot:
You can’t believe everything you hear! In fact, this belief is quite the opposite. It is very safe for pregnant women to get the flu shot! Not only does it help protect the mom, but it can also help protect the baby. Pregnancy causes immune, heart, and lung changes, increasing your risk for the flu, so it’s perhaps even more important for expecting mothers to prepare.
Myth #4: Washing Your Hands A Lot Stops the Flu:
Of course washing your hands isn’t a crime, and it’s very much welcomed. However, going to the bathroom every five minutes to cleanse your hands with soap and water won’t prevent the flu. The flu is spread through the air via droplets of saliva from a person who is contagious, so the virus can reach you by nose, mouth, eye, or by touching a contaminated surface. The best way to use your hands is by keeping them away from your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Myth #5: The Shot Didn’t Work If You Get the Flu:
The flu shot is only 60 to 90 percent effective because there are multiple strains of the virus. Unlike the measles or polio, which only contain one strain, the flu can come in many forms. So if you find yourself with the virus after a doctor administered the shot to you, it’s probably because you caught a different strain than was included in the vaccine.
Myth #6: Antibiotics Can Fight the Flu:
Antibiotics are our heroes a lot of the time, but not for the flu. They don’t work on viruses, only bacteria, so don’t try to get a prescription for one. Your best medicine is staying home, resting, drinking fluids, and waiting for the storm to pass. If you need to pop a pill, try some ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Myth #7: You Can Catch the Flu by Going Out Into the Cold With Wet Hair:
Being cold or having wet hair will not make you sick. Only a flu virus can give you the flu. Yes, being cold and wet can trigger a dormant virus, but if you don’t have one sitting in your system, don’t expect anything to happen. The two are not related.
If you contracted the flu despite all of your best prevention efforts or still need some myths busted, give us a call (314) 522-8378 or visit us at http://www.dlabtest.com/index.html. We are always here to help you learn the facts from the fiction and test you for any illnesses or diseases you might have!