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Myths About the Flu

There are many myths about the flu that circulate during the fall and winter months when the flu is most prevalent.
To help put to rest some of the most common falsehoods, here is the truth behind these myths.

Myth: You can catch the flu from a flu shot.
Fact: The flu vaccine is made from an inactivated virus, so you can’t get the flu from a flu shot. Some people might get sore at the spot where the shot was injected. In few cases a fever and muscle aches can develop and in rare cases an allergic reaction to the vaccine can occur.

Myth:
You can catch the flu or a cold from going outdoors in cold weather.
Fact: The flu is more common during the winter months because that is when the viruses spread. It has nothing to do with being outside in cold weather.

Myth:
Stomach flu is a type of flu.
Fact: About one out of three people with the flu may have an upset stomach, but this is rarely the main symptom of the flu. Other viruses and food poisoning are more common causes of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Myth:
Chicken soup can help treat the flu.
Fact: A bowl of chicken soup is a popular home remedy. While it can soothe a sore throat or cough, chicken soup has no special power to cure the flu. Consult your physician about getting a flu vaccination. Some other things you can do to help to prevent getting the flu include:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth whenever possible.
  • Avoid crowds when the flu is most prevalent in your area.