6 Myths about Colds and the Flu

Cold and flu season has started, so be informed about how to avoid both. Check out these common myths, and learn how to stay healthy.

  • I had a flu shot so I can’t get sick–Not true. The flu shot only protects you from 2 or 3 viruses, and not rhinoviruses that cause colds.
  • My co-worker gave me this cold–Maybe. Cold (and flu) viruses are spread by droplet transmission from coughing and sneezing.
  • I have a bad cough, so I must need an antibiotic–Not true. Most coughs and colds are viral, and antibiotics are only effective for bacterial infections. But oftentimes, people start taking an antibiotic on the 4th or 5th day of being sick, when the virus is already subsiding, and they start to feel better.
  • I have stomach upset and diarrhea; I must have the flu–Not true. The true “flu” (influenza) is a respiratory condition, with sinus congestion, fever, sore throat and cough. GI upset is sometimes called the “stomach flu,” but it is not the flu.
  • Last year I got sick from my flu shot–Not true. The flu vaccine contains an inactivated virus, so it can’t make you sick.
  • If I have a fever, I need aspirin or acetaminophen–Maybe. If you have a low grade fever–100 degrees or less–and you can tolerate it, let your fever run its course. It’s your body’s way of fighting off the virus.

Your best weapons to prevent a cold and the flu?

Frequent, thorough hand washing (20 seconds minimum); avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth; and getting enough sleep.

For more information on staying healthy, go to http://Integralhealthsolutionswi.com



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