When you suffer from cold and flu, people around you will give you all sorts of advice. Amidst the information, misconceptions and myths prevail. Although people will share stories connected with cold and flu, it’s up to you to decide what to avoid and what not. This post debunks common cold myths so that you can stay healthy during seasonal changes.
1. Cold and flu occur only when the temperature drops
It’s one of the most common cold myths you will find around. Because cold and flu season coincides with the winter season, many people believe that getting cold is common during this time. However, this is not true. Keep in mind that you will catch a cold and flu if you come in contact with the virus that caused it. The only reason why you might catch a cold and flu in cold weather is that you sit indoors most of the time while coming into contact with other people. It makes the virus spread faster when people cough or sneeze in an enclosed space.
2. You can stay fit by avoiding contact with sick people
Many people will recommend you to stay away from sick people to avoid cold and flu. However, this is not the perfect solution. People could be contagious even if they show zero signs of sickness. Experts do believe that the flu vaccine could be the best preventive measure to avoid flu. And, everyone above 6 months and older should receive annual flu vaccination. Sadly, no vaccines can protect you against colds. Washing your hands regularly can reduce the chances of getting a cold and flu, though.
3. You don’t need the flu vaccine because you are healthy
You may have people saying that you don’t need a flu shot if you are healthy. However, this is not true according to the experts. You may not get sick usually, and that’s great. But it doesn’t mean that the risk of flu is reduced. The flu vaccination prevents you from getting the flu. Getting the vaccine not only reduces the chances of hospitalization or drying, but it also protects people around you. Even if you feel healthy, you can carry the virus and spread it elsewhere.
4. You can go to school or work because it’s just a cold
If you are sick, it is wise to limit contact with people around you. The rule applies even if it’s just a cold. Cold and flu spreads more if you are in close contact with other people. In daycares or schools, the immune systems of children aren’t fully developed. Hence, they might get the virus easily. You may feel that the cold hasn’t impacted you much. Still, you can pass the virus to others. Viruses could be fatal for the vulnerable. These include pregnant women, older people, and children. So, stay away from people to avoid infecting others when you suffer from a cold.
Remember that the protection you get from flu vaccination for one year won’t help you sail through the next. The main reason is that flu strains change over time. So, chances are that the flu strains that are circulating today might not be the same strain as the previous one. This is why the flu vaccine needs to be tweaked annually. Additionally, the protection that you receive from the vaccine will decline after some time. If you received the vaccine a year before and it matches the strain found more recently, your body won’t react to the virus.
6. Cold can turn into a flu
Different viruses cause colds and flu. Therefore, the common cold can’t be morphed into flu. Besides, these illnesses have the same symptoms. And, it is difficult to differentiate based on the symptoms. Typically, the flu feels worse compared to a cold. The symptoms include dry cough, extreme tiredness, body aches, and fever. People suffering from the common cold will have a stuffy or runny nose. However, they don’t develop complications such as bacterial infections or pneumonia or even need hospitalization.
7. You shouldn’t get the vaccine if you have egg allergies
Most flu vaccines contain ovalbumin which are small traces of egg protein. It makes people with egg allergies a bit nervous. However, the concerned authorities encourage people to get the flu vaccine. Even people with moderate and mild egg allergies can get the vaccine without worries. Getting the flu shot is essential.