The 6 most common myths about the flu

In each flu season, which begins in October and peaks in January and February, at least 20 percent of the population gets ill.

This can lead to serious, even fatal complications, not to mention the general horror of fever, chills, cough, runny nose and body aches.

We all know how the flu goes, so it is simply amazing that there are still many myths and rumors about this infection.

Although experts do not foresee a more severe flu epidemic than in previous years, it is good to know the truth about the dreaded viruses and how we can protect ourselves from them.

Here are the most popular myths about the flu:

1. Can I get the flu from a vaccine

No, you can’t, really. This long-standing rumor just won’t die, no matter how often experts debunk it. “The flu vaccine is made with dead virus particles, and because the virus isn’t alive, it can’t infect you,” explains Dr. Holly Phillips, an internist in New York City.

The nasal spray version of the vaccine contains attenuated viruses that can’t make you sick either. This vaccine needs 2 weeks in your body for antibodies to form and protect you from the flu.

2. Young, healthy people shouldn’t worry about the flu

“While it’s true that flu is most dangerous to children, the elderly, and people with chronic illnesses, it can to cause severe symptoms in otherwise healthy people,” says Dr. Phillips.

This is why it is recommended for them to be vaccinated at the beginning of the flu season. You may not be in the group of patients at risk, but this way you will protect yourself from transmitting the virus to the most vulnerable people.

3. The flu is accompanied by gastrointestinal symptoms

As severe as flu symptoms are, digestive distress is rarely among them. The term “stomach flu” is a colloquial term that refers to the group of viruses that primarily cause vomiting and diarrhea, says Dr. Phillips.

“These viruses are not the flu,” she says. Of course, it is not excluded that the flu will also lead to some gastrointestinal problems – some patients complain of nausea and even vomiting. But just these symptoms, without the classic signs of the flu, you’re probably sick with something else.

4. The flu vaccine is prohibited for pregnant women

On the contrary, all pregnant women should be vaccinated as soon as possible. “The flu vaccine is safe for pregnant women,” says Dr. Phillips. Babies over 6 months old can also be vaccinated.

According to specialists, the vaccine taken during pregnancy protects not only the mother, but also the baby after birth, as it is transmitted through breast milk.

Pregnancy causes changes in the immune, cardiovascular and pulmonary systems that can increase the risk of flu complications. “Fever with high fever and severe infections can lead to serious pregnancy complications and even premature birth,” says Dr. Phillips.

5. You can protect yourself from the flu by washing your hands often

Don’t get us wrong, we’re all for washing your hands with soap and water. But this is not enough to stop the flu. The virus is spread by airborne via droplets of saliva from an infected person.

Infection begins 1 to 7 days after infection. Drops of saliva can enter the nose, mouth and eyes, from where they pass into the blood.

You can catch the flu by touching contaminated surfaces and then your face, as the virus can live up to 8 hours in the air. So wash your hands with soap and water and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Stay at least 6 meters away from someone who has flu – this is the maximum distance viruses can “travel”. Disinfect common areas in your home or workplace if someone with the flu has been there.

6. Antibiotics help with flu

Antibiotics don’t work on flu viruses, no matter what your jeep says. Antiviral drugs work. Tamiflu is the most famous and is good, but it should be taken within 48 hours of the first symptoms.

Recommended only to people at high risk of complications. Other medications that may offer relief are pain relievers such as ibuprofen and paracetamol.

However, the best treatment is to stay at home, drink plenty of fluids, and watch out for serious complications.

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