It seems like we are just getting through cold and flu season, and here we go again!
Facts about the flu
Influenza, or more commonly known as the flu is a respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. The Centers for Diseases Control (CDC) estimates that just last year between October 1, 2018 and May 2019 there were between 37.4-42.9 million cases of the flu and 36,400-61,200 flu-related deaths. There are many misconceptions surrounding the flu vaccine, so it’s important to obtain your facts from reputable sources and talk to your health care team to answer your questions and concerns.
Flu myths and facts
Test your knowledge about the flu vaccine with these common myths
Myth: The flu shot GIVES you the flu
Fact: The flu shot does NOT cause the flu. Some people may experience side effects at the injection site such as; soreness, redness or swelling, You may also experience side effects such as; headache, low-grade fever or muscle aches, but this is not the flu!
Myth: If you get the flu shot you will NOT get the flu
Fact: Unfortunately, even if you get the flu shot you can still get the flu. However, you are significantly LESS likely to get the flu if you’ve had the vaccine. The flu vaccination has also been associated with a 79% reduction in hospitalization among people with diabetes.
Myth: The flu shot should not be given annually
Fact: The flu shot is an annual vaccine and is usually available towards the end of the summer and early fall. Since the vaccine may take up to two weeks to be effective, the CDC recommends getting the flu shot by the end of October.
Myth: Flu season is just winter months
Fact: Although you can get the flu at any time of the year, the CDC says flu season can occur from October to May and tends to peak from December-February.
Myth: The flu shot is not recommended for children
Fact: The Centers for Disease Control recommends the flu shot for everyone above the age of 6 months. Young children, older adults and people with various health conditions such as diabetes, are at a higher risk.
Myth: People above the age of 65 shouldn't get the flu shot
Fact: Unfortunately, just like with other diseases and illnesses, being greater than 65 years of age, makes you more susceptible to the flu. In fact, there is a high dose vaccine that is available specifically for this age group.
Myth: Having diabetes does not make you more susceptible to getting the flu
Fact: Unfortunately, people with diabetes are three times more likely to be hospitalized from the flu. Managing your diabetes and blood glucose levels may also be very difficult during this time. People with diabetes may also get a more severe case of the flu and are at an increased risk of various complications, such as pneumonia. The Standards of Medical Care encourage ALL people with diabetes to get the flu shot annually.
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