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That’s Not True: Debunking Top Flu Myths

Don’t believe the hype

With flu season starting, it’s really important to be able to separate fact from fiction. Read about top popular influenza and flu vaccine myths and why you shouldn’t believe the lies.
The Flu Is Just a Severe Cold
The flu is not a severe cold. It is a serious respiratory disease that makes you feel absolutely terrible, brings on aches and pains, can develop into other illnesses such as bronchitis and can keep you out of commission for days and even weeks. But unlike the cold, the flu can kill. It kills more each year than complication of AIDS,says WebMD.
The Flu Vaccine Gives You the Flu
Despite potential cold-like symptoms afterwards, the flu vaccine does not make you sick. The injectable flu vaccine has a dead version of the virus, which is impossible to give you the flu. And even though the nasal flu vaccine has a live form of the virus, researchers have taken out the parts of the virus that make you sick.
Antibiotics Can Fight the Flu
So many of us want our docs to prescribe this type of medicine hoping it will help, but antibiotics don’t help with the flu because the flu is not an infection and is not caused by bacteria. However, having the flu lowers your immune system, which can make you more susceptible to illnesses such as sinusitis, bacterial bronchitis and pneumonia. All of these may require antibiotics for treatment.
Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Get Flu Vaccines; Causes Miscarriages
Actually a study found that flu vaccines protected pregnant women from miscarriages and stillborn deaths. Health experts recommend that pregnant women get the immunization because the flu causes “changes in immune system, heart and lungs during pregnancy make pregnant women more prone to severe illness from flu,” says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Flu Only Kills Older People
Yes, seniors are especially vulnerable to flu-related deaths, but a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that the flu can kill even healthy children.
The Flu Vaccine Just Puts Billions in Big Pharm’s Pockets
It cannot be denied that the pharmaceutical companies do make a grip from flu vaccine sales, but let’s also remember that numerous respected public health agencies and mounds of studies done in reputable labs and universities believe that the vaccine is important to protecting our health.
Healthy Young Adults Don’t Need to Worry About the Flu
Being young and healthy may help you heal better from the flu, but that isn’t guaranteed. Getting vaccinated for the flu also protects the people around you who are more vulnerable to complications—babies, the sick and the elderly.
Fighting the Flu Strengthens Your Immune System
Never, ever. What having the flu does is make you more susceptible to other infections and other illnesses because it compromises your immune system. If you want to strengthen your immune system, try eating a balanced diet instead.
You Can Catch the Flu From Being Outside in the Cold
Yes, flu season just happens to occur in the winter, but being in the cold has nothing to do with catching the flu. You catch the flu from coming into contact with the flu virus. To avoid the flu, stay away from others who are sick; wash your hands with soap and water; avoid touching your mouth, eyes and nose when possible; and get vaccinated for the flu.
For more about flu season, go to BET.com.

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