Are you at high risk of flu? Know the facts from the myths about the common flu.
It is a myth that only the elderly should have the flu vaccine.
It is correct to say that if you are over 65 years old you should have the flu vaccine, because as we get older our immune system tends to weaken and we become more vulnerable to virus diseases. But, there are other groups of people that, like the over 65s, can also be at high risk if they catch the flu, these include individuals who have:
- Asthma or lung disease
- Heart trouble
- Kidney condition
- Liver condition
- Had a stroke
- Underlying illness or are taking medication that lower your immune system
It is a myth that the flu vaccine will give you flu.
Some people can develop a mild side effect after taken the flu jab, which usually only lasts for a day or so. It may make you feel slightly poorly, but this is not the flu, it is just the body’s reaction to the jab.
It is a myth that the side effects of the flu jab are worse than flu.
The adverse reaction you may have after taking the flu jab are usually mild and finishes very quickly, however, for people in the high group risk, flu can be a big problem and sometimes kills.
It is a myth that the flu vaccine does not work.
There are many different types of flu viruses, as they keep mutating. The flu vaccine protects against the most common types of flu. So, by having the vaccine you have a greater change of not catching flu.
It is true that no one dies from a cold.
But flu is no cold. These are two different diseases, which are caused by different bugs. Normally you can get over a cold quickly, but if you are at the high risk group, flu can be very dangerous.
What is the difference between flu and cold symptoms?
Cold symptoms normally last for a few days and can include: runny nose, headache, sore throat and cough.
If you catch flu, you can expect to have:
- High temperature or fever
- Aching limbs
- General weakness
- Sore throat
It is a myth that flu vaccine causes you to catch a cold in the winter.
There is no connection between having a flu jab and catching a cold, as these illnesses are caused by different bugs. The flu jab will not prevent you from catching a cold, but should minimise your chances of catching flu. If you keep catching colds, then seek advice from your doctor. It can be a good idea to eat a healthy balanced diet, full of fruits and vegetables to boost your immune system.