[dropcap]Y[/dropcap]ou have a stuffy nose, blood shot eyes, your body aches as if you haven’t slept for ages and altogether you are feeling dead and lousy. You take a break from work and stay back at home to avoid major problems and then out of concern your friends and near and dear ones pop in at your place to see you.
Dr, K.M. Sunesara, General Physician, Mumbai, educating us by busting the most popular cold and flu myths.
Myth #1: Flu and common cold is one and the same
When you are down with a bad flu, it is much worse than a heavy cold. Dr. Sunesara explains, “The symptoms of flu are sudden and severe, like fever, chills, headaches, muscle ache and sore throat. If you take this condition lightly, your condition can get worst and ultimately land you in the hospital.”
Myth #2: If you catch a flu, you won’t get it again during flu season
Many think that if you’ve had flu recently then you won’t get it soon again. This is completely false. Dr Sunesara says, “Flu can happen due to both Type A and Type B influenza. So if you recently caught flu with one type, then in the near future you may catch flu of the other type. So, take the necessary vaccine on time, or else you will end up spending more time in your bed by being sick.”
Myth #3: You can catch the flu right after a flu jab
Dr. Sunesara says, “This is the biggest myth and we should understand and get rid of it.” He explains, “The vaccine is made from an inactivated virus. So people who get the flu soon after the vaccination, were anyway about to fall sick due to some other reason. But people make up their own assumptions and link the flu to the vaccine and spread the rumor that your shot can make you ill.”
Myth #4: Stop taking antibiotics once you feel better
If your doctor has prescribed a certain medicine course, then you need to follow the way it has been given to avoid re-lapse. You may feel better after taking medicines for a few days. But if you want the infections to be completely cured, take the full course of the prescribed medicine, or else you will end up falling sick once again.
Myth #5: Kissing can cause flu
One of the biggest flu myths is that – if you kiss a person with flu, you will catch flu as well. This is completely false. To pass on the flu infection, you need a larger dose of the flu virus and the fact is that very minimal virus is available on the lips and mouth. But, flickering around your partner’s nose can make you sick; because it is the nasal mucous you have to worry about.
Myth #6: Staying out in the cold weather will make you sick
We always hear the old saying that if you stay out in cold weather for long, you will catch flu. “It is not true,” says Dr. Sunesara. Being in cold weather has nothing to do with flu. You catch flu due to viruses and bacteria, which spread during winters more often due to close contact with everyone, as everyone prefers staying home.
Myth #7: Chicken soup can do wonders?
We all love this myth and guess what – it isn’t a myth at all. Dr. Sunesara says, “Chicken soups help to relieve you because it gets a positive effect on your immune system by bringing the white blood cells together. White blood cells are very useful as they help fight against various infections present in your body. For, best results sip on hot chicken soup.”
Myth #8: Flu jabs give you lifetime protection
We assume that once we have taken the vaccination, we have an insurance against flu up till death. It is not true. Flu viruses change every year and most of the times the previous vaccination that you had, won’t work against the new virus. Hence, get a vaccination each year to fight against new flu viruses.