When it comes to influenza and flu shots, there’s a lot of misinformation out there. The only way to be prepared is to make sure you know the facts so that you can stay healthy this flu season and focus on what’s most important — being a student.
To help you stay well and avoid the flu, the experts at Nebraska Medicine – University Health Center have debunked several common influenza myths:
MYTH: Cold weather causes a cold or flu.
FACT: Only certain viruses can cause a cold.
MYTH: The flu vaccine can give you the flu.
FACT: The virus in the vaccine is inactive and can’t cause an infection. Most people who have flu symptoms after receiving a flu shot either developed another type of respiratory virus (such as rhinoviruses) that have similar symptoms, were exposed to the flu virus shortly before vaccination or were exposed to a flu virus that is different from the virus the vaccine is designed to protect against.
MYTH: You don’t need a new flu vaccine every year.
FACT: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends an annual flu vaccine for those six months and older because a person’s immunity from vaccination declines over time. Each year’s flu outbreak involves different viruses, so the flu shot you received last year might not protect you against the viruses the CDC predicts will be prevalent this year.
MYTH: It’s better to get the flu than the flu vaccine.
FACT: The flu can be a serious illness than can cause hospitalization or even death. Getting flu shot is the safest choice. Don’t take your chances.
MYTH: It’s too expensive and time consuming to get the flu shot.
FACT: Flu shots are free for University of Nebraska-Lincoln students and offered at rapid walk-in clinics that will have you in and out the door in minutes. Learn more about how you can receive your free flu shot at Nebraska Medicine – University Health Center by visiting their website.
MYTH: Chicken soup can’t help ease a cold or flu.
FACT: The steam helps with congestion and the broth keeps you hydrated.
MYTH: When in doubt, sweat it out.
FACT: Dehydration will only make you feel worse if you have the flu. Drink lots of fluids, and try to stick to water.
MYTH: The “stomach flu” is the same as the seasonal flu.
FACT: “Stomach flu” is a common phrase used to describe symptoms of nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. While these symptoms can be related to the flu, these problems are rarely the primary symptoms of the flu and are likely caused by some other virus or parasite. The flu isn’t a stomach or intestinal illness, but rather a respiratory illness.
Click here to learn more about flu shots available now at Nebraska Medicine – University Health Center.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention