6 Flu Truths – That May Surprise You

Myth 1: The flu virus can live on hard surfaces, like door handles or tables, for 24 hours.

TRUE. This is why you should frequently wash your hands with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer. The other good news is that the flu virus only lives in the air (think sneeze) for several hours and only about 5 min on your hands. While the last two seem small, it’s plenty of time for folks to touch their nose or mouth.

Myth 2: There is no cure for the flu.

True. While disappointing to hear, the flu is a virus and there is no cure or treatment that ends it.  It’s important to remember that remedies like elderberry syrup are immune boosters and help reduce flu symptoms and duration. While you’ll feel better quicker, the flu still has to run its course.

Myth 3: Cold air can make you sick.

Mostly True: Simply going out in the cold won’t make you sick, but if you are often in the cold, it does increase your chance of getting infected. Also, for sake of argument, “cold” is relative. This myth is really about temperature change that causes physical reactions, like a sniffy nose.  The cold dries up your mucous membranes, leaving your body more susceptible to viruses like the flu.

Myth 4: The flu can be contagious before symptoms begin.

True. Two days. Yeah, people that have contracted the flu may be able to spread the flu up to two days before any of their symptoms even start. Couple this with myth #1, and a staggering fact that large droplets from a sneeze can travel up to 6.5 feet and smaller droplets up to 20 feet, it’s not hard to see why the flu spreads quickly.

Myth 5: You can get the flu in the summer.

True. Most commonly thought of as a winter sickness, it is possible to get the flu year-round. Yes, summer flu cases are less common due to the climate, there are often cases of travelers from the southern hemisphere that bring the flu with them and can find new bodies quickly.

Myth 6: The flu can be fatal.

True. Especially for people that have lower immune systems, like the elderly, very young and folks battling other illness that impacts their white blood cell count. According to some doctors, the most common complication is pneumonia, when the flu virus spreads into the lungs.  

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