Health

Flu Facts

Myths

Some believe that the flu shot causes the flu. Others claim that, despite receiving the vaccination, they still contracted the flu.The flu vaccine does not cause the fluAnnually a flu vaccine is formulated with three to four strands of the influenza virus that are the most harmful and prominent for the current year. Each year the vaccine is different. There are a lot of different flu viruses, and they are constantly changing. One single vaccine will not protect you from all of the strands. However, getting a flu shot routinely can build your immunity to various strands and reduce the chances of contracting the flu.

How is the virus spread?

The virus is spread through person to person through droplets. Common forms of transmission are sneezing, coughing, or talking. The flu can also be contracted through contact of contaminated surfaces such as phones and computers. The virus can be present in adults for days with no symptoms, but at this time, the virus is still transmissible. In children the virus is present for a longer period of time before symptoms appear.

Symptoms of the flu

Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people, especially children, may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may also be infected with flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.

Prevention 

  • Vaccinations

The Center for Disease Control recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months get a flu shot if it’s not contraindicated. If you have an egg allergy or if you have had an adverse reaction to the flu vaccine in the past, please check with your primary health physician before receiving the vaccination.

  • Catch your sneeze or cough

When sneezing or coughing, catch your sneeze. You should cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue.

  • Proper hand hygiene

Proper hand washing is very important. In the absence of soap and water, use hand sanitizer. Try to avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth. These are easy ways for the virus to get to and from your body.  

If you know that you are sick, try to stay away from people who are well or immunocompromised. If you are immunocompromised, or aware that others are sick, try to stay away from them as well, and of course, get vaccinated against the flu.