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Debunking Flu Myths

Debunking Flu Myths

You’ve probably have heard that you can get the flu from getting the flu shot, or that it’s just a really bad cold.  While getting the flu shot is the best way to protect yourself against influenza, there are some common misconceptions about the flu shot.

You can get the flu from the flu shot.

No, you can’t actually get the flu from getting the flu shot.  The flu vaccination is made with dead viral particles, and since the virus isn’t living, it can’t infect you.

I can’t get the flu if I got the flu shot.

The flu vaccination doesn’t give you 100% immunity like vaccinations like the measles or polio.  However, if you do get the flu, your symptoms will be less severe than if you didn’t get your flu shot.

The flu is just a really bad cold.

You may have a runny nose, a sore throat, a hoarse cough, a high fever, and feel fatigued.  But having the flu is way more than just having a really bad cold.  In the U.S. alone, almost 36,000 people die and 200,000 are hospitalized each year because of flu symptoms.

You don’t need to get the flu shot every year.

New strains of influenza occur every year.  Even if you’re in seemingly good health, the CDC recommends that everyone, especially children, seniors and those with chronic illnesses, should get vaccinated every year to protect themselves against the virus. 

Pregnant women can’t get the flu shot.

Getting the flu shot actually helps women during and after pregnancy.  The mother passes antibodies onto the developing baby during her pregnancy.  This helps protect the baby after birth from getting the flu.

Is the stomach flu really the flu?

No.  A common misconception many people have is that the stomach flu, which is associated with nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea is a part of having influenza.  These stomach pains symptoms can be caused by different bacteria or viruses.  While feelings of being nauseous can be related to the flu, it’s a rare symptom.  Influenza is a respiratory disease and not an intestinal or stomach disease.

Chicken soup will help speed up your recovery.

Hot liquids like soups can provide you with much needed fluids and can relieve a sore throat.  The steam from the soup can open up nasal passages.  While soup can alleviate your symptoms, it won’t cure them. 

Getting the flu isn’t the most pleasant experience.  With bedrest, maintaining a well-balanced diet, staying hydrated, and practicing good hygiene, your flu symptoms can decrease.

When you come down the flu, it’s important to seek medical attention in the case that your symptoms are more severe than you think.  AFC Urgent Care Portland can treat your flu symptoms and more!  Any of our walk-in urgent care centers you visit will be stocked with medicine to get you feeling better in no time!