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Do you have all the facts about the Flu?


Do you have all the facts about the Flu?

The flu is not something to take lightly. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the estimated number of people who contracted the flu during the 2017-2018 flu season was 48.8 million, which was the second highest since the H1N1 flu pandemic in 2009 (when 60 million people were sick). Last year, nearly 960,000 people were hospitalized with the flu.

Chances are, you already know when flu season hits and the importance of getting your flu shot, but do you know what are facts versus myths when it comes to information about the flu virus?

Take our true or false quiz below and test your knowledge, while learning how to better protect yourself and your family this flu season.

True or False?

You risk contracting the flu from the flu shot.

False! It is not possible to get the flu from the flu shot. This is a complete myth.  The preventative viruses used in the flu shot are inactive. It is normal to experience redness at the vaccine site, and/or to experience a mild fever, but this is your body’s immune response. You are not getting the flu from the shot. 

True or False?

The flu virus cannot survive on surfaces.

False! The flu virus can indeed survive on hard surfaces for 24-48 hours and on porous surfaces (such as sheets and clothing) for up to 12 hours. Wiping down surfaces with alcohol based cleaning products can effectively kill the virus off hard surfaces.

True or False?

The flu virus can spread when expelled into the air.

True! The flu virus is expelled into the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes or breathes in close proximity of another person. A recent study has proven that the air-borne virus can survive for at least one hour, regardless of humidity. This is why doctors stress the importance of sneezing into your sleeve and not into the air, nor into your hands. The virus can also be spread through direct contact and also indirect contact, as the virus lives on surfaces.

True or False?

If you have already had the flu, you cannot get it again in the same flu season.

False! Unfortunately, you can contract more than one strain of flu in the same season and be sick more than once.

True or False?

Flu season runs parallel to the winter season.

False! Flu season typically begins in mid-October and peaks from December to February. Sometimes, seasonal flu season can last until early May.

True or False?

Hand washing can help prevent the spread of the flu.

True! Washing your hands properly and often is one of the easiest ways to best protect yourself from germs that can carry cold and flu. Read about more simple ways in which you can better protect yourself against the flu here.

True or False?

The flu virus can be diluted in the air through increased air circulation.

True! Increasing air movement can indeed reduce the spread of the flu virus. To achieve this, you can increase the air exchange rate in an enclosed area by turning on portable or ceiling fans and opening windows where possible. An air purifier with a HEPA filter and a high flow rate can also help reduce the presence of infected particles.

True or False?

There is no treatment for the flu.

False! Antiviral medications may be an option for you, should you become infected with the flu, if you fall into a high-risk category (these include those over 65 years of age, pregnant women, young children and those suffering from medical conditions such as asthma and diabetes). When antiviral drugs are used, they can shorten the length of flu symptoms and sometimes prevent a hospital stay.

True or False?

Getting vaccinated against the flu is your best defense against the flu.

True! The vaccine produces antibodies in the body, approximately two weeks after receiving the shot, and can last for up to one year. These antibodies are your best protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine. This vaccination changes with each flu season and offers the best protection against the flu virus that research indicates will be most common during the current season. However, if you have an allergy to eggs then you should not get the flu shot. Nor should children less than 6 months of age. In these cases, please speak to your doctor about prevention.

To request your free quote to arrange your workplace flu shot clinic, contact Midland Health today. Read about what you need to know for the 2018-2019 flu season here.