Every year, as flu season makes its way, you’re probably reminded frequently about various half-truths and outright untruths about how you can get it, what it does, and how to protect yourself from it.
This article is intended to set the record straight so that you head into the months of potential sickness well-prepared, whether you choose to get a flu shot or not.
Let’s take a look at a handful of the most common myths that propagate through homes and offices as the sick season nears.
The Flu Vaccine Doesn’t Cause the Flu
This is one of the most common myths out there, and it is actually much of the reason why some parents avoid taking their children in for flu shots. The reality, though, is that the flu vaccination contains inactivated strains of the flu virus.
Basically, they’re dead already. The worst that can happen as a result of the flu shot is a few symptoms since your body is marshaling its natural defensive mechanisms against the actual virus. If it should try to enter your system, the “soldiers” are already in place to protect you.
You Can Still Be Contagious if You Don’t Have a Fever
Just because you don’t register a fever doesn’t mean you’re no longer contagious. It really depends both on the strength of your immune system and the strength of the immune systems of the people around you. For obvious reasons, younger children have a greater chance of catching the virus from someone because of their still-developing immune systems.
The Flu Can Be Serious
Because of the tendency to think of the flu as a cold (due to the similarity in symptoms), many people think of the flu as a mild ailment. Although the symptoms pass in a couple of weeks for most people, the flu does have the potential to be deadly. In fact, a quarter-million people are hospitalized every year from complications.
This is the biggest difference between the common cold and the flu, in fact: the symptoms in the latter tend to be more severe and longer lasting. Nearly 40,000 people each year die from the flu and its complications, such as pneumonia and bacterial infections.
The Flu & the Cold Are Not Interchangeable
Understanding this is most important for people who think it’s okay to share prescription medicines for the flu virus. These will not work on the common cold, as they are different viruses. Medication for one of them will simply have no effect on the symptoms from the other. Additionally, once flu season is over, any leftover prescription should be tossed since next year’s flu virus manifestation will evolve. Your older meds will not protect you against the new strain.
These are just a few of the most common myths we hear circulating year after year. Arm yourself with the necessary knowledge to know what you’re getting into when flu seasons rolls around, and consider getting your vaccination by January; it’s never too late. Generally, the season begins to die down around March.
Flu Shots in Silver Spring & Kensington, MD
In order to protect yourself against the flu and its symptoms, visit one of our walk-in clinics throughout the Maryland and DC area today. We offer flu shots at affordable prices so that you can feel safe, secure, and healthy all season long.
Want to learn more about the flu or ready to get a flu shot near Silver Spring, MD? Contact Fast Track Urgent Care online or call (800) 417-1164 today to find a walk-in clinic near you!