Flu Facts

In addition to clarifying the Top 5 Flu Myths, we want to offer additional answers to some of the most common questions we hear from patients as flu season approaches:

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How can I tell if I have a flu, or just a bad cold?

This can be tricky, because the common cold, and the flu, exhibit many of the same symptoms. The only true way to determine if you have the flu, is to make an appointment with your primary care doctor where they can test you for the flu.

I’ve heard that there is Thimerosal in the vaccines that is linked to autism. Is that true?

Thimerosal is used as a preservative in multi-dose flu vaccines. Many independent studies have found no credible link to thimerosal and autism. If you are concerned, ask your doctor for a single dose vaccine, which will not contain thimerosal. For more information regarding thimerosal, visit the CDC website.

 

What if I am allergic to the flu vaccine? What will happen?

If you have a reaction to the flu shot, it is usually mild, and happens shortly after the injection. It can include redness and soreness near the injection site. Having a strong reaction is extremely rare. Symptoms can include difficulty breathing, weakness, dizziness, or hives. Most symptoms pass in a day or two but see your doctor if you have unusual symptoms following your shot.

I read that the flu is made with an actual flu virus. Why would you inject a virus into me to prevent a virus?

The flu virus that is used is a “dead” virus. It is impossible to catch a virus from a dead virus.

 

Additional Resources

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