Three Flu Myths That Can Harm You

Nurse gives flu shot to patientThe leaves are turning and Halloween decorations are in the store. These sure signs of fall also mean it’s officially flu season. While many people rely on all sorts of formulas for avoiding the flu – from grandmother’s advice to avoid getting chilled outside to friends advocating over-the-counter immune boosting products – it’s best to avoid some common flu myths in order to stay healthy.

Here are three common flu myths that can actually either increase your odds of catching the flu or hinder recovery from the flu.

Myth #1: The flu vaccine makes you sick.

Fact: You cannot catch the flu from a flu shot. You may have a mild reaction for one to two days, including soreness, redness, or swelling at the spot where the shot was given or a low-grade fever and aches. Some people may be exposed to a virus just before getting the flu shot, causing symptoms of illness to strike right after the vaccine. It also takes about two weeks after you get your flu vaccine to be protected from getting sick with the flu.

Myth #2: You can only spread the flu to other people after symptoms start.

Fact: One to two days before you even have the first flu symptom, you are contagious and can spread the flu virus. After symptoms start, adults can continue to spread the flu for three to five days, and children can continue to spread the flu for up to seven days.

Myth #3: If I have a cold or the flu, taking antibiotics will make me well.

Fact: Antibiotics will not help treat colds or the flu since they are not bacterial infections. A doctor may prescribe antiviral medications, which may lessen the severity and length of the flu. If you would develop a complication from the flu, such as pneumonia, you may need antibiotics. Call your healthcare provider if your symptoms are severe or get worse.

Protect Yourself and Your Family

The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot for you and any family members, as well as practice frequent hand washing and other healthy choices. Learn more about how to protect yourself from the flu with these tips for surviving flu season.

Schedule Your Flu Shot Today

Our experienced medical team offers flu shots for adults and children. They can also guide patients who may have questions about the vaccine or concerns about the flu and chronic illnesses, such as asthma or diabetes.

Flu shots are offered at all seven LeBauer primary care locations by appointment. New patients can complete our online appointment form to see a doctor and get a flu shot. If you are a current LeBauer patient, contact your primary care office to make your flu shot appointment.

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