Flu myths and facts

We don't know exactly when flu season is coming. But we do know that it is coming and that's why it's important to get vaccinated now.

 "It can start as early as October and last as long as May," explained Registered Nurse Lisa Gorski with Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare. "It is unpredictable.  It is a critical time because it takes about two weeks to build antibodies in your system. So, getting vaccinated now protects you."

Gorski is a special guest on the CBS 58 News at 4 p.m. A time for viewers to separate the facts from the myths.

Influenza tends to be a respiratory illness, not a stomach bug. That is something that is misunderstood by many people.

Flu-like symptoms include:

• Fever

• Cough

• Sore Throat

• Runny or Stuff Nose

• Body Aches

• Headache

• Chills

• Fatigue

How to Protect Yourself

• Get a flu shot.

• Wash hands frequently.

• Cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

• Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.

• Stay home if feeling sick.

Influenza is the 8th leading cause of death in the United States.

200,000 people are hospitalized each year due to flu complications and approximately 36,000 people die each year from flu symptoms.

You cannot get the flu from receiving the flu shot.

The flu shot you get in a doctor’s office is the same as the one you might receive at a clinic or your local pharmacy.

The vaccine has up a 70% effectiveness rate.

"Getting a flu shot is much better than dealing with the effects of having the flu," added Gorski.

She also said side effects were minimal.

"Most people do not have significant reactions from the flu shot They have tenderness for a few hours and then that disappears." 

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