Fact vs Myth: The Flu
Flu season is creeping up quickly! But, don’t be scared! We want to make sure you and your school are prepared! The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have great resources available, however, there are still many misconceptions about the flu. Let’s talk about a few of the most common myths.
“The flu shot infects me with the flu and makes me sick!”
Fact: In truth, the flu shot does not make you sick. You may feel crummy for a few days, but during the two weeks following your body is creating antibodies (fighter cells). It will use these fighter cells to attack flu germs and to protect you against the flu. The flu shot provides such significant protection that it decreases your risk for needing treatment by 60%. Even if you end up with the flu and hospitalized, studies show you will spend 4 days less in the hospital than those that did not receive the flu vaccine.
“Having the flu is just like a bad cold, I will be okay without going to the doctor.”
Fact: The flu may feel like just a ‘bad cold’ to some, but it can be a really serious illness for many… even those in good health. Be aware of your symptoms and make sure to follow proper handwashing techniques, clean commonly used surfaces regularly, and cover your mouth/nose if you cough or sneeze. If you notice your symptoms getting worse, be sure to check in with your doctor. There has been a sharp rise in hospitalizations and fatalities from the flu and pneumonia during the last couple of flu seasons.
“Waiting as long as possible to get the flu shot is best. I want to be covered through the whole season.”
Fact: The CDC and AAP recommend getting the flu shot as soon as possible for those aged 6 months and older. If you have never given your child (under 9) a flu shot, they will require two shots about one month apart. Generally, your body takes two weeks to develop the proper antibodies to protect you, and consequently others, from the flu. This year, the CDC recommends getting your flu shot before Halloween 2018.
Are you interested in how your school fares with the flu this year? Using an electronic Student Health Record (SHR) solution like Magnus to run reports on flu symptoms, dates where most students were affected, and classrooms most at risk for infection is a great way to manage student health at your school.
**Check out how schools are using Magnus to track immunizations, including the flu shot**