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Prevention: 10 Flu Myths Your Doctor Wishes You Would Stop Believing

By Katherine Martinelli

The 2017-2018 flu season was among the worst in history. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it was one of the longest seasons in recent years, sending tens of thousands of people to the hospital and breaking a record with 185 pediatric deaths.

There’s a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation about what the flu is, how it’s spread, and the efficacy of flu shots. Which is why we turned to medical experts to set the record straight by dispelling some common myths.

“Proper hand hygiene is the most important means of preventing the spread of infection. Hand washing is like a 'do-it-yourself' vaccine that stops the spread of germs,” says Mary Anne Jackson, MD, director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City, MO. And of course, she recommends that everyone in your family get the flu shot.

Often you hear people say that because they are healthy and never get the flu they don’t need a flu shot. But this is false according to experts.

Even if you’ve already had the flu once in a season, it’s not too late to get the flu shot. “Typically three or more viruses circulate each season—usually influenza A early and influenza B later in the season,” says Dr. Jackson. “Even if you put off vaccination and ended up contracting influenza, you are only immune to that particular strain. You should still get vaccinated.”


Read the full story via Prevention

Learn more about the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children's Mercy