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Truths & Myths About The Flu

Washing Your Hands Helps Avoid The Flu - Photo courtesy of Metro Creative GraphicsIf you don't have a fever does that mean you can't spread the flu? Does hand washing really help prevent the flu?

How about kissing? Will that spread the bug to your loved ones?

Along with germs, stories and myths usually spread like wildfire every year around flu season. Armed with the truth, you can defend yourself from catching the flu this winter with a little know-how:

Myth: People can get the flu from a flu shot.

Truth: You may get a bit of a fever and feel a bit achy for 24 hours, but that is a good sign. It's not the flu, but rather it's your immune response to the vaccine.

Myth: People are not contagious without a fever.

Truth: Most colds have very little fever but the cold germ is still contagious. Children are typically infectious up to two days before they develop a sniffle. Adults are most contagious at the peak of sneezing and coughing, which is usually the first two days. You will, however, continue to shed the virus, albeit in lesser amounts, for up to a week.

Myth: Cold weather will give you a cold.

Truth: While you may be more susceptible to germs in cold, blustery weather, the common cold is caused by a virus, not by environmental temperature. Instead, boost your immunity to these viruses by developing a lifestyle with sufficient rest, regular moderate exercise, less stress, thorough hand washing and good nutrition. That said, you may also want to try natural flu remedies containing nutritional immune boosters like homemade chicken soup and recipes with lots of garlic.

Myth: Kissing spreads colds.

Truth: Keep kissing. With colds, just about the safest contact is a kiss, because saliva contains no viral particles. By contrast, secretions from your eyes and nose have high viral titres. If you rub your eyes and then shake hands, your cold will spread much faster than with a kiss.

About The Author...
Dr. Neil Schachter, author of "The Good Doctor's Guide to Colds and Flu"


More about preventing the flu around the Web:

Preventing the Flu

Flu Prevention Tips

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