Taking a Look at Some Myths About Flu

Most people who contract flu viruses can recover by themselves at home. Staying hydrated and getting plenty of rest may be all that’s needed. However, the flu can be quite serious for some patients, including young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and individuals with underlying health problems. When patients with severe flu symptoms or complications require emergency care , the providers of West Hills Hospital are here to help.

Myth: The Vaccine Can Cause Flu

One particularly damaging myth about influenza is that receiving a flu vaccine can cause the infection. If this myth has discouraged you from getting a flu shot, consider talking to your physician about your concerns. The flu shot is manufactured from an inactive virus, which means it cannot transmit the infection. However, the flu shot does not offer immediate protection from the virus. When people get sick after getting the flu shot, it’s only a coincidence.

Myth: Annual Flu Shots Are Unnecessary

Even if you received the flu shot last year, it’s still advisable to get another flu shot. Influenza viruses mutate rapidly. This means that last year’s flu shot will not necessarily offer protection against currently circulating viruses.

Myth: Healthy People Cannot Transmit Flu Viruses

Another common misconception about influenza is that it can only be transmitted by a person who is actively displaying symptoms. In fact, a significant percentage of the people who are carrying the flu virus do not have symptoms. This is another reason why it’s important to get an annual flu shot, particularly for individuals who are in close contact with vulnerable populations such as the elderly and young children.

Myth: Antibiotics Can Treat Flu

Most people who contract the flu do not need emergency care. Even when a patient does need medical attention for the flu, antibiotics are unable to help because these medications only target bacterial infections. Since the flu is caused by viruses, antiviral medications may be prescribed.

The state-of-the-art emergency care department at West Hills Hospital is fully equipped to respond to every type of medical emergency, including severe flu symptoms and life-threatening complications. Additionally, our full-service community hospital connects families throughout the West Hills area with exceptional maternity services, cancer care, burn care, and many other specialty medical services. If you have a true medical emergency, please call 911 now; otherwise, you can call (818) 676-4321 to speak with a registered nurse at our community hospital.

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