Flu Season Is Here - Make Sure You Know The Facts
FACT: You can't get the flu from the flu shot.
The influenza viruses contained in a flu shot are inactivated (killed), which means they cannot cause infection. Flu vaccine manufacturers kill the viruses used in the vaccine during the process of making vaccine, and batches of flu vaccine are tested to make sure they are safe.
FACT: You DO need to get a flu shot every year.
The influenza virus changes (mutates) each year. So getting vaccinated each year is important to make sure you have immunity to the strains most likely to cause an outbreak
MYTH: Getting the flu vaccination is all you need to do to protect yourself from the flu.
There are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself during flu season besides vaccination. Avoid contact with people who have the flu, wash your hands frequently, and consider taking anti-viral medications if you were exposed to the flu before being vaccinated.
MYTH: If you have a high fever with the flu that lasts more than a day or two, antibiotics may be necessary.
Antibiotics work well against bacteria, but they aren’t effective for a viral infection like the flu. Then again, some people develop a bacterial infection as a complication of the flu, so it may be a good idea to get checked out if your symptoms drag on or worsen.
MYTH: You can’t spread the flu if you’re feeling well.
Actually, 20 to 30 percent of people carrying the influenza virus have no symptoms.
MYTH: The flu is just a bad cold.
Influenza is a serious disease of the nose, throat and lungs, and it can lead to pneumonia. Each year about 200,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized and about 36,000 people die because of the flu. Most who die are 65 years and older. But small children less than two years old are as likely as those over 65 to go to the hospital because of the flu.