6 flu facts to help keep you healthy

DEC 20, 2016
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It’s January — a fresh start to another new year. It also means flu season is finally over, right? Wrong. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while seasonal flu outbreaks can start as early as October, they can last as late as May.*

 

Here are 6 more flu facts:

 

FACT 1: The flu is serious.

 

Flu is worse than a common cold. The flu causes serious illness, hospitalizations, and deaths every year. Most flu-related deaths can be prevented by flu shots.

 

FACT 2: Everyone 6 months and older needs to get a flu shot.

 

The CDC recommends yearly flu shots for everyone 6 months and over, especially pregnant women and anyone who cares for an infant.

 

FACT 3: The flu shot is the #1 way to protect yourself and others.

 

Other ways to avoid catching and spreading the flu include:

  • Washing your hands frequently
  • Avoiding touching your face
  • Staying home if you’re sick
  • Sneezing and coughing into your elbow

FACT 4: Getting a flu shot will not cause the flu.

 

The flu shot doesn’t contain a live virus. In other words, there’s no way getting the flu shot can give you the flu.

 

FACT 5: You need to get a flu shot every year. 

 

Immunity to the flu wears off within a year. And flu viruses change often. So, getting your flu shot ensures that you and those around you are protected against the strains most likely to cause an outbreak.

 

FACT 6: A flu shot doesn’t stop you from getting colds.

 

Colds are actually caused by other viruses. So, a flu shot doesn’t protect you from the common cold. In fact, the flu is much more serious than the common cold — which is why you should protect yourself and others with a flu shot.

 

To find out more about how to stay healthy during flu season, go to kp.org/flu.

 

* http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/misconceptions.htm

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