5 Myths About Cold and Flu Season

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Cold and flu season is a bummer, but it’s something we all deal with. Whether you’re plagued by your own cold or caring for a child affected by the flu, these illnesses are a part of life. However, there’s a lot people don’t know about cold and flu season, and a lot more that people think they know but turn out to be a myth.

Cold and Flu Myths

There are a lot of people who don’t realize about the cold and flu, and a lot of things that people think aren’t really true. Let us debunk some of those myths so you can better understand cold and flu season.

1. The flu shot causes the flu.

One of the biggest misconceptions about the flu shot is that people think it gives them the flu. The flu vaccine is actually made with a weakened or inactivated strain of the flu, which will not make you sick. According to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, the vaccine takes about two weeks to work, so it’s not uncommon for people to get sick during that two-week period simply because the flu is circulating and the vaccine hasn’t had time to be given. . do his job.

2. Going outside with wet hair in winter will cause you to catch a cold

You’ve probably heard this for years: Going outside in cold weather with wet hair will catch a cold. This is actually not true. According to the Cleveland Clinic, a cold has to be caused by a virus, which you don’t catch with wet hair in cold temperatures. While they note that cooler temperatures are better breeding grounds for viruses, cold hair has nothing to do with catching a cold.

3. You don’t need to get a flu shot if you’re healthy.

Anyone can get the flu, regardless of their health. The NFID recommends that everyone get a flu shot starting at 6 months of age to protect against the flu.

4. You don’t need to get a flu shot every year.

The flu is different every year because it mutates. That means every year you need a new flu shot, which also changes every year. The vaccine is created from the flu strain, so a new vaccine for the new flu strain is needed every year, according to Harvard Medical School.

5. Chicken soup can help fight a cold

While chicken soup may make you feel more comfortable if you’re exhausted from a cold, there’s no medical evidence that it can actually help you get rid of a cold. The University of Rochester Medical Center notes that the steam that rises from the hot soup can act as a humidifier and loosen the sinuses, but that’s about it. However, there’s nothing wrong with eating the soup while you’re sick, so go ahead and stick with it if it’s something tasty and comforting while you’re feeling sick.

Cold and Flu Facts

Woman receiving a flu shot

Getty Images/Luis Alvarez/DigitalVision

Having concrete information about cold and flu season can help you stay healthy and prevent illness. This is what you should know.

1. The flu is transmitted mainly through the air

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the flu is spread through tiny droplets that are typically spread when people cough, sneeze, talk, or sing. It is much less common for the flu to be transmitted on surfaces. However, it is possible for those small droplets to land on surfaces and then be picked up by someone else touching them and then touching their nose, mouth, or eyes.

2. Adults have 2-4 colds per year

On average, an adult can have between two and four colds in a year, according to the American Lung Association. This, of course, varies depending on your lifestyle and how well you protect yourself from illness, but two colds aren’t uncommon.

3. Children are more likely to get the flu than adults.

A study by Clinical Infectious Diseases found that children under the age of 18 are twice as likely to get the flu compared to adults 65 and older.

4. There is no cure for a cold

Many things can ease cold symptoms, including decongestants and antihistamines, but according to the CDC, nothing will actually cure the common cold. The best thing you can do for yourself is to take the proper doses of each remedy and rest.

5. You can catch the flu even if you don’t feel sick.

You are most contagious when you first get the flu, but some people don’t feel symptoms right away. That means you can have the virus, feel fine, and still pass it on to the people around you. According to the CDC, you can also still be contagious after you get sick, although it’s less common.

Bottom line

Arming yourself with knowledge about colds and the flu can help you prevent getting sick. Opting for a flu shot every year is your first line of defense in preventing the flu, but know that colds are almost inevitable. Take care of yourself this cold and flu season, and you’ll be feeling better in no time.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or healthcare goals.

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