10 Myths About the Flu

Written by Pliro
May 4, 2017 Last updated: May 10, 2017

The good thing about the flu is that it is a common and well known condition, which is why tried and tested home remedies prove to be helpful cures. The not so good thing is that people come up with all kinds of theories that aren’t always true. In such cases, it is best to rely on what a professional says for a second opinion. Lets take a look at 10 of the most bizarre myths about the flu.

You Don’t Need a Flu Shot if You Don’t Have the Flu


Wrong! Flu shots aren’t a form of treatment, they are precaution that everyone needs to take regardless of actually having the flu or not. Furthermore, flu shots are required wherever medical records are involved for certain paperwork. Being healthy does not mean that you cannot transfer diseases to others. Therefore, flu shots are also a means of prevention for others to catch diseases.

You are Pregnant so the Flu Shot Will Affect the Baby


The fact is that not getting the flu shot might have a worse effect on both, your and the baby’s health. Pregnant women should get vaccinated to avoid miscarriages, which can occur due to influenza. Furthermore, getting the shots earlier on can protect your baby from the flu even after delivery.

You can Catch the Flu From Vaccinations


Not true. An inactivated virus makes up the flu shot, which is why infection cannot be transmitted. It takes a week or two for the effects of the vaccines to kick in. Therefore, if you get sick before that, it means that you had already caught the infection. The only reactions you may encounter are soreness in the area where you got injected, and/or a slight fever.

The Flu is the Same as the Common Cold


The common cold is characterized by symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, coughing or sore throat. The flu is often much worse. The symptoms are more severe, such as fever, aches and pains in the body, weakness and headaches. A sore throat that causes flu is much worse than one that causes the common cold. Furthermore, the flu may lead to complications if not treated in time. You may need to visit the doctor if things get worse. Therefore, the same methods of treatments may also not work for both.

You Cannot Catch the Flu Once You are Immunized


Yes you can. You are immunized by vaccines specifically designed for that particular flu season. This means that viruses keep changing, which is why you cannot rely solely on flu shots. There are other things you can do to prevent the flu. These include washing your hands more frequently, avoiding contact with people that have caught the flu, and taking anti-viral medications.

You Can Treat Flu With Antibiotics


Just like the flu and cold are two different things, viruses and bacteria are two different things. The flu is a result of a viral infection. Antibiotics are used for treating bacterial infections, and prove ineffective for viruses. Therefore, antiviral medications will be more useful when it comes to the flu. Antibiotics will only make a difference if you catch a bacterial infection along the way.

Flu Vaccines Can Have Major Side Effects


No. The flu vaccine may have a few minor side effects, but no major ones. It is one of the safest and most beneficial vaccines that are given. Common side effects include numbness or soreness in the area that is injected. Additionally, a slight temperature may be experienced, but nothing too severe tends to occur on the back of the flu shot.

Flu Vaccines Are Not Safe for Your Child


Yes they are. It is recommended that children over 6 months of age should be vaccinated every year till the age of 19. Additionally, even children suffering severe chronic illnesses are recommended to get their flu shots. This is because catching a flu on top of everything else increases the chances of further health complications.

The Flu Cannot Cause Death


Unfortunately, it can. The severity of the flu depends on the virus, as well as the victim’s health and immune system. Some unlucky victims are unable to fight off the flu, resulting in thousands of deaths every year. If the influenza becomes more intense, severe aching and high fever may lead to fatal consequences.

Flu Vaccines Can Weaken Your Immune System


On the contrary, the flu vaccine strengthens your immune system. It does so by stimulating antibody production, thereby preparing to fight the flu. Without the added complication of influenza, preexisting diseases may even be cured faster.

In conclusion, sometimes you need to tune out what people say, because their hypothesis is mostly based on misconception, rather than hard core evidence and research.