4 Flu MythsMany people think they understand the flu, but you’d be surprised by how many misconceptions surround this disease. Tell us if you think these flu myths are true or false?
1. The flu only affects the very young, very old and unhealthy people.
FALSEBeing healthy doesn’t make you immune to the flu. A healthy adult, however, has a lower risk of suffering from severe flu complications compared to young children, the elderly and individuals with weakened immune systems.
2. You can get the flu from a flu vaccination.
FALSEA flu vaccine does not give you the flu. Flu shots are made with either an inactivated virus or no flu virus at all, so they are not infectious. The nasal spray flu vaccine is made with an attenuated (weakened) live flu virus. Both the flu shot and nasal spray vaccines boost your immune response against exposure to flu viruses.
However, it’s possible to get sick shortly after getting vaccinated. That’s because it takes two weeks after vaccination for the antibodies in the vaccine to form in your body and protect you against the influenza virus. That’s why we recommend getting your flu shot rapidly, according to government recommendations in your province.
3. A flu is just a bad cold.
FALSEThe flu and the common cold share certain similarities, but they are very different. The flu is a much more serious illness that can lead to severe complications such as meningitis, pneumonia and, in certain cases, death. Learn more about the difference between these two illnesses here.
4. You get the flu from being in cold weather.
FALSEThis is another classic flu myth that’s simply not true. Going outside in the cold without the proper winter attire might give you shivers and frostbite, but it won’t give you the flu. Only the dreaded influenza virus will give you the flu. This is a common misconception because flu season coincides with the winter months. That said, please ensure you bundle up and stay warm during the winter months.
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* The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide complete information on the subject matter or to replace the advice of a health professional. This information does not constitute medical consultation, diagnosis or opinion and should not be interpreted as such. Please consult your health care provider if you have any questions about your health, medications or treatment.