If you’ve ever gotten the flu, you know it’s nothing to sneeze at. In a word, horrible, the flu is absolutely horrible. Not only do you feel bad, but you also make everyone else around you feel awful and/or afraid for his or her life. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 200,000 people are hospitalized each year because of flu-related complications (mostly dehydration), as well as approximately 36,000 people dying from flu-related causes annually. But you can protect yourself by discovering flu fact from flu fiction.
Myth #1: Get a flu shot?! No way! They get people sick!
Truth: Truth is, getting the flu from the flu shot is like getting a double zero on a roulette wheel. 14 times. In a row. It’s that unlikely. If you do get sick after getting the flu shot, it’s most likely because you were exposed to someone beforehand. Flu shots only contain dead viruses (only the nasal flu mist contain weak active virus). So unless you know how to resurrect the dead (I don’t think you really need to worry about the flu in that case), it is extremely unlikely you will get the flu from the flu shot.
Myth #2: It’s January 1st, I guess it’s too late to get that flu shot…
Truth: Quick, when does the flu season reach its peak? If you answered February, congrats! You probably work in the medical field! Yes, this is the month that most people catch that darn flu bug. But luckily, you can still get the flu shot anytime during the winter, though it’s ideal to get one in September, before the official start of the flu season. Remember, getting the flu shot is the best way to protect yourself!
Myth #3: I’m a strapping young man. I don’t need a flu shot!
Truth: Everyone should get it. Everyone should get it. Have you heard? Everyone should get it. Two reasons: One, immunization is vacation protection: It helps ensure that you won’t have to spend all your sick days on actually being sick. Two, by protecting yourself from the flu, you protect your coworkers, friends, and family by not spreading it. There are some exceptions to this rule however. You shouldn’t be vaccinated if you’re allergic to eggs, have a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome, or have had a severe reaction to a previous flu shot. Also, infants under 6 months should not get a flu shot.
Now, armed with these facts (and hopefully the flu shot!) you can help protect yourself from ever getting sick!