Busting Flu Myths

Myth - The flu shot can give me the flu.
Fact - Because flu viruses used in flu shots are inactive, they do no cause infection.

Myth - Flu shots are not proven to prevent the flu.
Fact - If you get the flu shot, you are 60% less likely to get the flu.

Myth - It is better to get the flu than the flu shot.
Fact - Getting the flu shot provides benefits such as reducing illness and preventing lost time from work.

Myth - You can skip years between flu shots.
Fact - A flu shot is needed every season because the particular strains of flu that are dominant change each year. Researchers develop a brand new flu shot every single year.

Myth - I should wait to get the flu shot so that I'm covered through the end of the season
Fact - People should get a flu shot as soon as they are available because they take about two weeks to become effective.

Myth - You can't spread the flu if you're feeling well.
Fact - Actually, 20% to 30% of people carrying the influenza virus have no symptoms.

Myth - You can catch the flu from going out in cold weather without a coat, with wet hair or by stting near a drafty window.
Fact - The only way to catch the flu is by being exposed to the influenza virus. Flu season coincides with the cold weather. So people often associate the flu with a cold, drafty environment. But, they are not related.

Myth - Feed a cold, starve a fever.
Fact - If you have the flu (or cold) and a fever, you need more fluids. There's little reason to increase or decrease how much you eat. Though you may have no appetitie, "starving" yourself will accomplish little. And poor nutrition will not help you get better.

Myth - Chicken soup will speed your recovery from the flu.
Fact - Hot liquids can soothe a sore throad and provide much-needed fluids. But chicken soup has no other specific qualities that can help fight the flu.

Myth - Getting the flu vaccination is all you need to do to protect yourself from the flu.
Fact - 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.