The flu bug has hit U.S. coastal cities hard in the last few weeks. If you’re like many Americans, you’ll do just about anything to avoid getting the dreaded virus — even if those methods may be laden in mythology. Chances are you’ve heard that you should “starve a fever” or not go to bed with wet hair. But what’s fact and what’s fiction?
Myth: The flu is just a really bad cold.
Truth: While flu can have similar symptoms to the common cold like sneezing, a runny nose or sore throat, it’s not the same. Anyone who has been sick with the flu knows it “hits you like a ton of bricks,” while a cold tends to come on gradually. Not only is flu associated with intense fatigue, but also vomiting, headaches and commonly diarrhea in children.
Myth: Only the elderly and infants need to worry about getting the flu.
Truth: Older Americans and babies may be more vulnerable to flu, however it can mean missed workdays and time away from the activities you love. On average, 200,000 Americans are hospitalized each year from illnesses associated with seasonal influenza virus infections. Plus, if you’re a part of the “sandwich generation,” taking care of your elderly parents while raising your children, then not taking proactive steps to protect yourself against flu may leave your loved ones susceptible. An infected person can spread flu one day before showing symptoms and up to seven days after getting sick.
Myth: I live in a warm climate so I will not get the flu.
Truth: Although cooler weather may not cause flu it helps fuel the spread of illness because people are indoors more and therefore more likely to spread their germs amongst each other. Additionally, in recent weeks, states such as Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana, which typically have warmer winter weather, have reported high levels of influenza-like illnesses.
Myth: My whole family or office is sick so it’s inevitable that I’ll catch the flu.
Truth: Taking precautionary measures like washing your hands frequently and eating foods rich in probiotics and zinc may help keep your body strong enough to ward off illness. However, if you start to feel run down you’ll want to have a homeopathic medicine like Oscillococcinum® on hand. When taken at the first sign of symptoms Oscillococcinum has been shown to reduce the duration and severity of body aches, headache, fever, chills and fatigue.*
For more information to help you and your family stay healthy this season, visit Oscillo.com/wellness.
*These “Uses” have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
10 Flu Myths. Harvard Health. http://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/10-flu-myths. Published November 2009. Accessed January 10, 2017.
Overview of Influenza Surveillance in the United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/overview.htm#Outpatient. Published October 13, 2016. Accessed January 11, 2017.