Flu season comes around every year, but there are still so many misconceptions about the flu shot and prevention. Check out the information below to separate flu fact from fiction.
FICTION! While it is important to increase fluids when feeling sick, water is your best bet. Too much sugar in the juice can actually be detrimental to the immune system.
FACT! As long as you are washing your hands properly: between fingers and all areas of the hands for at least 20 seconds just soap and water will do the trick.
FICTION! It is impossible to get the flu from the flu shot. The flu shot is a dead (inactivated) virus and….it's dead. FluMist is an attenuated virus. It is live but it is engineered to be less harmful. The virulence and pathogens have been removed.
FICTION! Antibiotics treat bacterial infections. The flu is a virus and will not respond to antibiotics. There are antiviral's available but their use is limited to the initial onset of the illness. They are not curative but will shorten the duration if taken early enough. There is data to prove that taking antibiotics while you have the flu may impair your body's ability to fight the virus. It might interfere with the bodies ability to make an important "flu or virus fighting molecule.
FACT! Flu shots do work in the majority of cases. It is possible to get the flu even after taking a flu shot. It depends on a bunch of factors. The age and health of the patient and the match between the vaccine and the circulating strain of the virus. For instance if the strain of vaccine isn't a perfect match with the circulating virus and the patient's immune system is compromised they can in fact get the flu. There are several different strains of the virus in the flu shot and your body will still develop antibodies that will fight against similar viruses even though it's not a perfect match. The worst case is that if you do get the flu it will not be as debilitating.
FACT! You can take the flu shot as soon as it's available and there is no rule on how late you can take it. The flu season can run from October through as late as April or May. Ideally you want to take it early but can take it safely as late as January or February. It takes about 2 weeks to be fully covered after you get the shot.
Here are some over the counter natural products that can help you NOT get the flu!
-C.O. Bigelow Cold and Flu Soak- comforts when you have the flu helps ease aches and pains
-Berocca Effervescent Multivitamin for prevention
-Borion Oscillococcinum Flu Remedy- prevention and eases symptoms
-Heel Gripp Heel-relief from symptoms.
**But most importantly: Treat your specific symptoms if you are suffering from the flu virus and make sure to drink a lot of water!