The Flu: Separating Fact from Fiction
Your head hurts, your body aches, you're hot, cold and feeling miserable. Flu symptoms like these affect about 60 million Americans every year, but you don't have to be one of them. Get the facts and stay healthy this flu season.
Every year over
35,000 people die from the flu
FACT.The elderly, the very young, and those with certain chronic medical conditions are more susceptible to the virus. Every decade or so the virus mutates and can wreak havoc on other groups of people as seen in the pandemic of 1918 when it's estimated that between 20 million to 100 million people died of influenza, many of them in their 20s, 30s and 40s.
You can get the
flu from the flu vaccine...
FICTION.The vaccine is created from an inactive virus. You may feel soreness at the injection site, and in some rare cases you might not feel completely up to par for a day or two, but the flu shot will not give you the flu.
coughs or sneezes on an object, like a pen or phone, you can
FACT.It's believed flu viruses can survive outside the body anywhere from a few seconds to a few days depending on the surface. They live longer on non-porous surfaces like plastic, metal and wood and less on porous surfaces like fabric or paper.
You can pass on
the flu even if you currently have no symptoms...
FACT.You can be contagious one day before or up to five days after your symptoms appear.
You can catch
the flu by going outside in the winter with wet hair...
FICTION.While having wet hair might make you shiver, it won't cause the flu. The flu is more common in the winter months because we spend so much time indoors with others where germs can more easily spread.
washing can help keep you healthy...
FACT.Washing frequently with hot water and lots of soap for at least 30 seconds - about as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice - is your best defense. Be sure to "save your work" by using a paper towel to shut off the faucet and open the bathroom door.
hits, flu season is over...
FICTION.The flu season lasts from October to early spring. Depending on where you live, spring may not arrive until April or May.
FICTION.Turn your head away from others or sneeze into your sleeve or tissue. Be sure to dispose of your tissue and wash your hands immediately to avoid spreading germs.
antibacterial wipes on your phone and desk area can help
FACT.Sanitizing wipes kill up to 99% of germs that can cause illness. Regularly wipe everything you frequently touch including your keyboard, mouse, pens and desktop.
hands away from your nose, mouth and eyes can help keep you
FACT.These are three prime spots where germs can enter. One study found that people touch their face an average of fifteen times an hour. Armed with the facts, you can help dodge the flu bug and have a healthy winter season.
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