Fact or fiction: 4 flu myths debunked

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Know the facts about flu to keep yourself and others healthy!

You’ve probably heard some surprising things about the flu and it can be difficult to tell the myths from the facts. We're here to clear up some common misconceptions:

Myth: The flu is just a bad cold.
Fact: While the flu and the common cold share some similar symptoms, flu is caused by a different virus and is often more severe. It can be serious and potentially deadly, especially for children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with certain health conditions.

Myth: You can’t spread the flu if you don’t have symptoms.
Fact: You can spread the flu virus to others before having symptoms. Vaccination, handwashing and covering your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing all help to prevent it’s spread.

Myth: You can get the flu from a flu shot.
Fact: Flu vaccines do not contain live viruses and cannot make you sick. You may experience some mild symptoms, like soreness at the injection site, low grade fever, or muscle aches. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to become most effective. If you’re exposed to the virus before then, you may get sick.

Myth: You don’t need to get a flu vaccine every year.
Fact: Protection from the vaccine declines over time, so an annual vaccine is needed to provide the best protection. Flu vaccines are also updated each year to protect against the viruses expected to be most common. Getting a flu vaccine annually helps keep you and those around you healthy.

For more information about flu vaccination, visit the CDC’s flu vaccination website.

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