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Debunking Myths About the Flu

By Stephen R. Farris

With fall and winter rapidly approaching, it won't be long before flu season hits the world in full force, so it might be a good idea to start thinking about scheduling an appointment to get your flu shot. 

The flu is one of those sicknesses that can get easily confused with the common cold, or even season allergies.

Unfortunately, there are many people who decide to skip getting their seasonal flu shot, mainly because they think that they'll catch the flu from the vaccine. So is this true or not? Let's take a look.


Flu vaccines are inactive and can't transmit the virus. According to research, people who end up getting the flu were going to get it anyway, mainly because they waited too long to receive the vaccine. It usually takes up to a week to two weeks before the vaccine fully protects a person.

I'm Healthy and Don't Need a Flu Shot

The flu shot is recommended for everyone, including those in perfect health. It is also recommended that people with chronic illnesses get one every year. Infants over six months old and pregnant women should also receive the vaccine.

I Got the Shot, Now What?

Even though you received the vaccine, there are still a few precautions you should practice, such as keeping your distance from people infected with the flu, and practicing good hygiene like washing your hands frequently and wiping down high contact areas in the home with disinfectant wipes -- door knobs, refrigerator handles, countertops, etc.

The Flu Is Nothing More Than a Bad Cold

Unfortunately, this is a myth. Influenza (flu) is much worse than a bad cold. You may have similar symptoms, such as sneezing, sore throat, coughing, a runny nose, and difficulty talking (hoarseness), but those symptoms can become much more severe, causing hospitalization and even death.

It Can't Be Spread if I'm Feeling Fine

On the contrary, even if you feel only a couple of symptoms or none at all, there's still a 20 to 30 percent chance of spreading the flu to others.

I Only Get a Flu Shot Every Couple of Years

Due to the different strains of the flu virus, it's very important to get a flu shot annually (once a year). 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Waco, Tex.

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