Flu is a highly contagious viral infection that attacks a victim’s respiratory system (the nose, throat, and lungs). Flu can cause anything from a mild to severe illness and even at times lead to death. Flu or influenza is characterized by symptoms including a cough, sore throat, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches, fatigue, and body aches. Often a number of these symptoms will infest themselves but usually not all of them at the same time. Typically, transmission the flu virus is through fluids including infected saliva and mucus. A person with flu will, therefore, pass the virus onto another by merely sneezing or talking or coughing. It is also possible to get the virus by touching something with the virus and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes with those hands.
It takes averagely 2-4 days for a person exposed to the virus to get infected with the flu virus. There are quite some myths out there about flu, and here we look at some of the common ones.
- The flu vaccine causes flu. This is one of the ridiculous flu myths that has been existence ever since. The flu vaccine is made up of inactivated flu viruses, and since, they are dead particles, there is no way possible that you will get infected by them. The probable cause for this misconception is the time it takes before the vaccine starts functioning. It takes about two weeks before the body can generate antibodies that fight flu upon vaccination. Therefore, it is possible to get flu within this time, and that does not necessarily mean that the vaccine caused it.
- It is not safe for children to have the vaccine. Children as young as six months can be safely vaccinated with no possible side effects. Children between 6-24 months receive the vaccine in the form of an injection. Those between 2-17 years with any known long-term health condition are vaccinated using nasal spray. The nasal spray is ideal for children from 2 years to those in reception class and school years 1-4. Additionally, children with pre-existing illnesses like neurological or respiratory conditions can be safely vaccinated.
- You only need one vaccination to last a lifetime. Well, the sad news is, getting vaccinated this year for flu does not give you protection next year. In fact, it is recommendable that you get the flu jab every year if you are to enjoy the full benefits of the vaccines. Different types of virus cause flu which means that vaccination for one strain will not protect you from other strains. The best time to get vaccinated for this is just before the flu season kicks in.
- You do not have to worry about flu if you are young and healthy. Flu is an illness that can affect anyone and everyone. However, it is common for young children, pregnant mothers, older adults (usually 65 years and above) and people with chronic diseases like heart diseases and diabetes. Although this is the case, it does not except young healthy people from getting the illness. The only sure way to except yourself from the disease is to get timely vaccinations.
- Flu jab not for pregnant women. Well, many things are not safe for pregnant people, but the flu jab is not one of them. From time to time, pregnant women receive jabs including tetanus, iron supplements to improve their health and well as their baby’s. Just as this, flu shots can be beneficial to both the mother and unborn child as such prevents the mother from the discomfort of having the flu while pregnant and even enhancing the child’s immunity against flu for a few months once born.
- You can prevent flu by washing your hands. Well, hygiene is paramount to good health. However, influenza can surpass this cleanliness and even exist in the most hygienic of places. Its transmission is through the air by saliva or mucus passed from an infected person to another. By one merely sneezing, the droplets can land on another person’s hands, mouth, eyes, etc. which then lead to this person getting infected. However, keeping those hands clean can help you slice the chances of getting infected.
- Increase Vitamin C intake to prevent contacting flu. Another common flu myth is that Vitamin C can help prevent flu. Well, Vitamins are good for the body, and they can help boost one’s immune system. However, the sad news is that there is no medical evidence to prove that in taking vitamin C will prevent one from getting this infection. Maybe, like washing hands, Vitamin C can help slice the chances of one getting infected by the influenza virus.
We hope you have clear all the misconception about Flu, if you want to consult more about flu virus then Call us at 281-766-3811 for Richmond and 214-499-9555 for Dallas or Visit at our Frontline Emergency clinic near you.