Centuries ago, everybody knew that the world was flat. They knew that the Earth was the absolute center of the universe. They knew that using leeches to suck human blood would cure diseases, and that studying the bumps on the skull told them more about human behavior. As an online pharmacy, we’re first and foremost, scientists. We test hypotheses and, if they are no longer accurate, we get rid of them.
A large part of learning is examining things that everybody knows are true and proving them correct or incorrect. Myths surround everything, and the flu is no exception. Read on for some of the most common myths about the flu, and the real truth.
- The nasal spray flu vaccine is just as effective as a flu shot- Unfortunately, this year that isn’t the case. According to research by the CDC, nasal vaccines created for 2016 are simply not as effective a treatment method as injections. It’s still a wise move to get the flu shot, since it not only keeps you healthy, but it also protects all the people around you from catching the flu virus from you.
- Chicken soup can cure the flu- This pervasive myth has aspects of both truth and fiction. If you’re infected by a flu virus, a hot can of soup won’t be as effective as medication. However, when you’re sick, dehydration can occur much more quickly. By consuming lots of liquids, including soup, your body will have the necessary fluids it needs. Plus, hot soup is a great way to soothe a sore throat.
- Getting a flu shot will prevent the flu- This isn’t accurate, and it’s mostly because of some confusion about how the flu shot actually works. In reality, there are over 200 distinct flu and cold virus strains, and they mutate and change over time. Every year, researchers try to determine the 2-3 most common strains that will afflict the largest number of people, then develop a vaccine that can destroy those strains. To really maximize protection, get a shot, eat healthy, exercise regularly, practice good hygiene, and be sure to get plenty of sleep.
- If you have the flu, you must see a doctor in person- Having the flu is serious, and it can be worth your while to schedule a visit to your doctor. However, call the office first and let them know what your symptoms are. They may be able to prescribe medications over the phone. With a little bit of searching online, you can also find internet-based services that allow you to chat or Skype with a doctor or nurse.
- Like a cold, catching the flu is not a big deal- Many people feel this way, including the over 30,000 people yearly who end up dying from flu-related complications, and over 200,000 people who end up hospitalized. In 2016, we sometimes treat the flu as a bothersome inconvenience, yet we forget that it’s very real and very dangerous. The flu is particularly risky for infants, young children, and the elderly. If you’re wondering the main difference between a cold and the flu, flu symptoms tend to hit you very quickly, whereas a cold is slower and more gradual.