The newsLINK Group - Flu Myths

Editorial Library Category: Medical | Pediatrics for Patients Topics: Flu Myths Title: Flu Myths Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: You can find plenty of myths about getting a flu shot. Below some false information that can steer you wrong. Editorial: Flu Myths 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ thenewslinkgroup.com │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 You can find plenty of myths about getting a flu shot. Below, some false information that can steer you wrong: The myth: You can get the flu from a flu shot. The truth: A flu shot only contains dead virus. Once dead, that virus cannot infect your body. (Dead viruses don’t make copies of themselves.) It’s true the nasal spray does have a weakened flu strain in it, but it is so weak that it can’t harm you. Whether you get the shot or the nasal spray, however, you might experience some side effects, such as feeling tired and running a low-grade fever. If you get the nasal spray, you might also have a runny nose afterward. The myth: You don’t need a vaccination because you don’t ever get the flu. The only way to know whether you have the flu is to be tested by a clinician, but research tells us that 5 to 20 percent of all adults do get the flu. For children, the percentages are 10 to 40 percent. Sometimes its effect on you is mild. Sometimes it isn’t. Do you have contact with other people? If you do, you could get the flu. The myth: Flu shots aren’t effective. This myth has more substance than the others because the virus that causes flu is constantly mutating. Medical scientists do the best they can to determine the flu strains that are going around each year and then to protect you from it. Getting a flu shot doesn’t guarantee you won’t get sick, but if you’ve been vaccinated against one of the strains in the vaccination, then your infection should be much less severe than it would have been otherwise. The myth: I’m healthy, and the flu isn’t a serious illness, so I don’t need to get a flu shot. Flu can be a serious illness, especially because it is so unpredictable in the way it affects each person and because of its constant mutations. Healthy people die from the flu every year. Approximately 200 healthy infants and children die annually from the flu. The numbers are bigger for adults. Approximately 30,000 people die every year in the U.S. from the flu. Getting a vaccination does not offer perfect protection, but it does at least offer partial protection from a disease that could, in fact, kill you even if you are healthy. The flu epidemic of 1918 was most deadly when it reached people who were young and strong. Researchers who studied the disease found that the people who died were often killed by their own immune systems as their bodies fought the virus. The myth: If I don’t get a flu shot, it won’t affect my children. Infants who are less than six months old are too young to get a shot. Children who are less than four years old have usually had limited exposure to other people and have not had time to develop a strong immune system yet. The Mayo Clinic recommends that children between the ages of six months and eight years should actually get two flu shots each year, spaced about four weeks apart. If you don’t get a flu shot, and you don’t arrange for your children to get a flu shot, then you could be the one to make them sick. Sources: http://www.tulalipnews.com/wp/2015/09/24/debunking-5- myths-about-the-flu/ Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus That Caused It , by Gina Kolata. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/flu/in- depth/flu-shots/art-20048000 Word Count: 553 Copyscape Clear Date: 03.29.2016

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