If you have ever had flu, you know how uncomfortable it can be. When you get the flu, advice from all sides starts pouring in. Some suggest home remedies, whereas others ask you to devour packets full of pills. There seems to be a never-ending supply of misinformation when it comes to curing and dealing with flu. So, we have decided to dispel some of these myths and misconceptions.
- Flu vaccines can cause flu
This assumption is one of the most extensively circulated myths that you can get flu by getting flu vaccine shots. Flu vaccines made with flu protein might fuel this misconception. However, the important point is that the flu vaccine comprises weakened or inactivated flu protein. And they can’t cause flu. The nasal vaccines have weakened flu organisms without any potency to multiply or cause illness. However, it takes roughly two weeks for the vaccine to take effect. During this time, you can get flu or any other respiratory illness.
- Getting a flu vaccine and medication
Most medical practitioners can administer the flu vaccine, but consulting an FNP nurse has its benefits. Nurses specializing in family care with an on-campus or an online FNP certificate can also prescribe medication to treat soreness and discomfort and prescription medication that can cure your flu. You should also consult a doctor or a qualified nurse to get a flu shot if you have special conditions like egg allergies.
Nurses interested in administering vaccines can get immunization training for administering a specific vaccine. This training focuses on the history of vaccines, the best ways to administer them, any precautions for the receiver, etc.
- You don’t need the flu vaccine if you are healthy
Another myth is about eligibility to get a flu vaccine. According to the current guidelines of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), getting a yearly shot of influenza vaccine for people older than six months of age is recommended. While people with illnesses need to get vaccinated to prevent further disease attacks, healthy people should also get their flu vaccine.
Getting the flu vaccine every year is necessary because the effect of most vaccines diminishes over time. Therefore, yearly vaccination is essential to fortify your response against disease attacks. Also, the vaccines change to match the flu viruses circulating; getting the improved vaccine every year is better.
- Flu is just a cold gone bad
Many people don’t pay due attention to the harm flu can cause by considering it similar to a regular cold. But actually, flu can be very serious. Flu causes body aches, severe fever and fatigue, and body chills, and it can last for two weeks or longer. In some cases, flu goes so bad that it can cause death. Every year flu causes thousands of hospitalizations and millions of illnesses. Therefore, it is something that you must take seriously.
- Once you get the flu, you can do nothing
A grave misconception is that you can’t do anything to cure the flu. People also assume that it will get better on its own in a few days, but this assumption can be harmful. If you get flu, contact a healthcare provider and discuss your symptoms. They will prescribe some antiviral medications to reduce the intensity of your illnesses and make you feel better. The medication also prevents milder flu from turning into a severe condition.
- Vaccines can have adverse health effects
Typically vaccines don’t have any side effects. These injectable medications are made available to the public after extensive testing and trials. However, you may get soreness at the injection site, muscle pain, mild fever, weakness, or discomfort. However, these side effects don’t last for more than two days after you get the vaccination shot. Also, their intensity is much less compared to the weakness and fatigue due to the flu.
- Flu vaccines are not safe for pregnant women
Due to widespread misinformation, the flu vaccine is considered unsafe for pregnant women. However, the reality is quite the opposite. It is recommended for pregnant and lactating mothers to get the flu vaccine.
However, since there is not enough research about pregnant women getting the nasal flu vaccine, they should avoid them and get an intravenous flu shot.
- You can only take the flu vaccine before the onset of flu season
While it is highly recommended for everyone to get the flu vaccine before the start of flu season, you can also get it during the flu season. Some doctors even suggest getting a flu vaccine even after catching the flu. The vaccines protect you from getting other strains of the virus.
- Healthy people don’t spread the virus
Everyone catching the flu doesn’t show symptoms— they are asymptomatic. So, you might not show any signs and look healthy, but you can still carry the virus and spread it around. So, it is better to follow health guidelines to prevent the spread of disease.
- Getting exposed to the flu virus is not the only way to catch the flu
Some people believe that going out in the cold weather, especially with wet hair or exposure to cold drafts, is how you get the flu.
In reality, there is no connection between the two. Actually influenza virus is the only cause of flu. But since flu season often coincides with winter, people make these associations.
- You need more fluids and food after getting flu and fever
There is no specific reason to change how much you eat or drink during these illnesses. You may have a bitter taste and no appetite for food. However, you have to eat enough not to starve yourself.
- You need antibiotics for fever and flu that lasts for more than two days
Antibiotics are operative against bacterial infections but have little to offer against illnesses caused by viral infections such as the flu. However, antibiotics can be effective if you get a bacterial infection alongside the flu. It might be a good idea to consult a doctor in such cases.
Flu is one of the illnesses that spread fast. Every other person seems to be getting the flu during the flu season. Therefore, taking precautionary steps before the flu season is better.
Myths and misconceptions about flu and its vaccines are excellent examples of how misinformation can get in the way of getting health treatments. So, take care of yourself by consulting health professionals for necessary precautions against illnesses.