Flu season is here, and with it come different points of view about how you can stay healthy.
- The flu isn’t that bad.
No, the flu can be that bad. Experiencing fever, aches, chills and other symptoms for an average of five days is no picnic. Lost time at work or school can really cause upheaval in a household.
- I will get the flu if I get a flu shot.
Impossible. There is very little live flu virus in the vaccine — just a small piece of it to expose your immune system so it can create an antibody response. Sometimes people experience mild, flu-like symptoms as their immune systems ramp up after getting the flu shot.
- Young, healthy people don’t need to get a flu shot.
That’s what we used to think. During the H1N1 virus outbreak in 2009, otherwise healthy young adults were admitted to intensive care units. Since then, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend the flu shot for everyone ages 6 months and up.
- Pregnant women should not get a flu shot.
Pregnant women who get the flu can actually get quite sick. It is potentially very dangerous for pregnant women to skip the flu shot. In addition, once the baby arrives, all potential caregivers should receive a flu shot to protect the newborn baby — who is too young to get the vaccine — from getting the flu, which can be fatal for infants.
Learn more about the flu, including the signs and symptoms.