Five Misconceptions About The Flu You Probably Believe
Believe it or not, we are once again entering flu season. For anyone that has had the flu, you know that it’s something you really should try to prevent because its symptoms are severe enough to disrupt your daily routine. For those who are fortunate enough to have never contracted the flu, we understand that the “hype” around influenza can seem excessive, even dramatic. This creates many misconceptions and even apathy about the flu, which prevents people from taking the right precautions. What myths do you believe? Pacific Family Practice details—and debunks—the ones they hear more often from patients.
1. Flu season is only during the winter months.
Flu season starts earlier and lasts longer than you think it does. The typical flu season begins in October and can last as long as May. It is most prominent from December to February, but you can still contract influenza just as easily in the fall and throughout spring. This is why providers recommend getting the flu shot in October.
2. Having the flu is the same as having a cold.
The flu is not the same as a cold, even a stubborn cold. The flu is far more severe and its symptoms will mean the difference between trying to power through your normal routine with a cough versus needing to skip school or work for several days because you are too ill. The flu should be taken seriously, especially because it is easily spread from person to person. If you are unsure whether you have the flu or the common cold, please contact your provider at Pacific Family Practice to discuss symptoms.
3. The flu vaccine will give you the flu.
Perhaps once of the most widely-believed misconceptions about the flu is that getting the shot will actually give you the flu. This is simply untrue. Anyone who becomes ill after receiving the vaccine was likely already unwell and his or her symptoms happened to appear post-vaccine.
4. The flu vaccine is not safe.
The flu vaccine is entirely safe and can be administered to everyone older than six months of age. The vaccine is also safe for pregnant women, although the nasal version of the flu vaccine should not be given to anyone who is pregnant. (Please note that Pacific Family Practice does not offer the nasal vaccine.)
5. All I need to do to prevent the flu is get a vaccine.
Getting the flu vaccine is a very important first step toward flu prevention, but it isn’t the only step needed. Basic, common-sense actions will go a long way toward staying healthy during flu season, including avoiding sick friends, family, and co-workers, washing your hands frequently, and disinfecting surfaces you use daily. Be sure to get enough sleep and rest if you begin to feel ill.
Are you ready for this year’s flu season? Visit Pacific Family Practice to receive the flu shot – no appointment needed, walk-ins welcome. If you prefer, you can schedule an appointment here.
You can receive a flu shot at Pacific Family Practice from 9:00am – 8:30pm Monday – Friday and 10:00am – 3:300pm on Saturdays.