Tags: Health Topics | Cold/Flu | flu | flu shot

7 Flu 'Myths' You Shouldn't Ignore

A patient receives a flu shot
A patient receives a flu shot. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 03 December 2019 12:59 PM

Flu season is here, which means all those old wives' tales we have long since forgotten will probably resurface at some point. But is there some truth to these so-called myths? It is possible, as The Healthy discovered. Based on that report, here are seven flu "myths" that are true or partially true and you shouldn't ignore.

  1. Cold air can make you sick. This could actually be true, said Saralyn Mark, M.D. That is because being out in the cold may increase your chance of getting an infection. "Physiologically, your body adapts to the cold by allowing your mucous membranes to dry up. That mucus is a great defense mechanism. It gets stuff out of your body that you don't want in it. When it dries up, you don't have the protection, and a virus can get in," Mark said.
  2. Flu can be contagious before symptoms show. A person may not be showing any flu symptoms, but that does not mean he or she cannot make you sick. "People infected with the virus may be able to spread the virus to others one to two days before the symptoms actually begin," said Sanjay Sethi, M.D.
  3. You cannot cure the flu. This one is partially true — you cannot cure the flu, but there are medicines out there that can help speed up your recovery and even leave you less contagious and less likely to develop serious symptoms. "Anti-virals, such as Oseltamivir [Tamiflu], can help you feel better faster and they can make your influenza less severe," Kathleen Dass, MD said.
  4. Exercise can help ward off the flu. Many people believe that exercise could lead to severe complications. This is not necessarily true — you just need to pay attention to your body. "Regular exercise, which can include taking brisk walks, has been shown to improve your immune system, thus decrease your likelihood of developing a cold or flu," Dass said, but she cautions not to overdo it. "If you're training for a long marathon, that can have the opposite effect and hurt your immune system." The general rule is that if symptoms are above the chest, it is OK to work out. If the illness has gone into your chest, skip the workout.
  5. You can still get sick after having a flu shot. It turns out that even if you have had your flu shot, you are not immune from getting sick. This could be for various reasons, though. It takes two weeks to build immunity to the flu virus after having the vaccine, which means that you are prone to getting sick if you come into contact with the virus during that period. There may also be strains of the virus that are resistant to the vaccine.
  6. The flu vaccine is always changing. This is another flu "myth" that is actually true. "Every year, the shot is created based on the best estimate from scientists as to what strains will predominate, but the flu virus is very intelligent and is good at mutating," noted Hollin Calloway, M.D. "While some years the shot has been as effective as 60 to 80 percent, other years it has been only about 35 percent effective."
  7. You can still get sick from someone you weren't around. A simple sneeze or cough can spread the virus, which lingers in the air for hours. A person breathing in those microdroplets is likely to get the same illness.

© 2020 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
TheWire
Flu season is here, which means all those old wives' tales we have long since forgotten will probably resurface at some point. But is there some truth to these so-called myths?
flu, flu shot
569
2019-59-03
Tuesday, 03 December 2019 12:59 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved