10 Flu Myths Your Doctor Wishes You Would Stop Believing
PSA: It’s never too late to get the flu shot.
The 2017-2018 flu season was among the worst in history. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it was one of the longest seasons in recent years, sending tens of thousands of people to the hospital and breaking a record with 185 pediatric deaths.
It’s too early to tell how this flu season is shaping up in comparison, but one thing is clear: There’s a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation about what the flu is, how it’s spread, and the efficacy of flu shots. Which is why we turned to medical experts to set the record straight by dispelling some common myths.
But above all else, know this: There’s no silver bullet to protect you from the flu completely, but there are a few steps you can take to protect your health. “Proper hand hygiene is the most important means of preventing the spread of infection. Hand washing is like a ‘do-it-yourself’ vaccine that stops the spread of germs.”
Myth #7: You can catch the flu by being out in the cold
Although parents everywhere will continue hollering at their kids to dress warmly in the winter, you won’t catch the flu by being out in the cold—at least not directly.
“However, if your body is stressed, it lowers your immune system and may make you more susceptible the next time you’re exposed even at low levels to someone else who is infected with influenza,” explains Michael Jay Nusbaum, MD, FACS, FASMBS. So go out in the cold, but dress appropriately.