Debunking Common Misconceptions About The Flu - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Debunking Common Misconceptions About The Flu

Posted: Updated:

WMDT 47 News - While most Americans understand the flu is serious, a new survey indicates many have misconceptions about how to prevent and treat it.

The survey was commissioned by the NFID and funded by Genentech, Inc. It included responses from 1,000 adults in America. Over 90 percent of those surveyed know how serious and highly contagious the flu is, but there seems to be a big disconnect when it comes to actually getting vaccinated. According to the CDC, last season, less than 42 percent of Americans 18 and over got flu shots.

Many believe washing your hands is the best way to protect yourself. That can help, but the most effective way to prevent influenza is with a flu shot.

"Every year there's a different strain of the flu virus. So every year it changes in its protein character, so every year you have to get an update to re-stimulate your immune response," physician's assistant at Salisbury Immediate Care and Injury Center Kent Rilling said.

An estimated 45 percent of participants believe they can contract the virus from the vaccine, but that's not true. You may get flu-like symptoms for 24 hours, but that's just a serum reaction -- it's not really the flu.

"The flu vaccine is actually protein particles. So it's actually not the flu virus that anybody gives -- except for the nasal version of it," Rilling said.

About 41 percent of people don't realize the flu is contagious before symptoms start to show. Rilling says you're contagious three days prior to the onset of fever.

Even if you're a relatively healthy person -- don't think that you're invincible to the virus.

"Virus and bacteria are looking for a host. It doesn't care who you are," Rilling said.

Nearly half of those surveyed also*incorrectly believed antibiotics help fight the flu.Antibiotics only help fight bacterial infections --the flu is a viral infection.

If you're a healthy person that contracts the flu, it's probably not life-threatening; but health experts say the main reason you want to get vaccinated is to protect vulnerable ones around you -- which is the younger and older population.

  • ContestsMore>>

  • Spring Gas Giveaway

    Spring Gas Giveaway

    Let WMDT fill up your tank! It's time for our Spring Gas Giveaway! More >>
    Enter for your chance to win a $100 Exxon/Mobil Gas Card!More >>
  • Teacher Who Makes A Difference

    Teacher Who Makes A Difference

    The WMDT 47 Teachers Who Make a Difference Contest is Sponsored by Accurate Optical: "Encouraging children of all ages to come in for an annual eye exam to help them see better in school." Each month weMore >>
    The WMDT 47 "Teachers Who Make a Difference" Sponsored by Accurate Optical Encouraging children of all ages to come in for an annual eye exam to help them see better in school.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WMDT. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.