Debunking Misconceptions About the Flu #IPromiseToStopFlu

Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan
While one of the commonest errors people make with regard to the flu is assuming that the flu is the same as the common cold, it is not the only misconception around, with regard to this stealthy virus.

Debunking misconceptions about the flu

One of the most basic misconceptions is that the flu affects only the very young or old. 

The truth is that while the extremes of age may be more vulnerable, influenza can cause severe symptoms even in the young1. I’ve personally seen and treated many young adults who needed intensive care and ventilatory support just to survive following a bout of influenza.

This wrong notion also feeds into the next belief – many feel they don’t need the influenza vaccine. 

You need to understand the concept of herd immunity for this – the more people who are immunized in a given population, the lesser amount of influenza will exist there, thus providing a safety ring for the more vulnerable ones around. You being healthy does not necessarily mean you are not a carrier of the disease, causing harm to others.

When it comes to the influenza vaccine, one of the most common queries which people have is – do we really need to take this vaccine every year? 

Well, the sad truth is yes, the CDC does recommend it. The viruses keep changing their strains, modifying to resist our vaccines. The WHO works round the clock collecting these modified strains and preparing vaccines every year to combat the new influenza that arise.

Is adequate washing of hands enough to stop the flu? 

Well, it is something I advocate for sure but no, it is not enough simply because influenza spreads from an infected person via droplets of saliva. The droplets can travel as far as six feet following a cough and the influenza can live on the surface it lands for up to 8 hours. So you are always vulnerable even if you wash your hands adequately.

So maybe we take some antibiotics against the influenza instead of the vaccine? 

Again, no. Antibiotics work best against bacteria while influenza is a virus. The only indication for antibiotics is if you get a super-added bacterial infection as a complication of the viral infection.

Another very important query I get asked a lot is whether pregnant women can take the flu vaccine? 

The answer here is yes. There are benefits to both the pregnant mother and the yet-unborn child. Taking the vaccine reduces the risk of flu-associated infections in pregnant women by half. It is especially beneficial as the antibodies from the mother will provide protection to the newborn during the first 6 month period of life when the baby is not eligible for a flu vaccine itself.

The gravity of the flu in the end comes down to one key question, does it not - do people actually die from something as simple as the flu? 

Well, here you are assuming that a flu is the same as the common cold again. It isn’t. Influenza deaths range from a horrifying 290,000 to 650,000 every year.

Do you have any queries about the flu or vaccines? Feel free to ask me.
You can also find more ivital nformation about influenza here - #IPromiseToStopFlu

References for this article:

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Let me know what you think.

  1. Thanks a lot for this post Doctor. I missed the last few posts and I am going to catch up on those too. Since I have a little one, information on these seem to be crucial for me. This helped a lot. My daughter is due for her flu vaccine in January. I'd always recommend it to everyone.

    1. Please do educate the public. Especially in this issue, it really matters. Am seeing quite a rise in these cases of late and most parents are just unaware of what needs to be done.

    2. Am Laura Mildred by name, i was diagnosed with Herpes 4 years ago i lived in pain with the knowledge that i wasn't going to ever be well again i contacted so many herbal doctors on this issue and wasted a large sum of money but my condition never got better i was determined to get my life back so one day i saw Mr. Morrison Hansen post on how Dr. Emu saved him from Herpes with herbal medicine i contacted Dr. Emu on his Email: we spoke on the issue i told him all that i went through and he told me not to worry that everything will be fine again so he prepared the medicine and send it to me and told me how to use it, after 14 days of usage I went to see the doctor for test,then the result was negative, am the happiest woman on earth now thanks to Dr. Emu God bless you. Email him at: Whats-app or Call him: +2347012841542 

  2. An extremely Informative and educative post, Roshan. Sharing it on my feed. I am glad I read your post today.

    1. Thanks. I hope it makes at least one parent rethink their stance.

  3. Thanks for shattering so many myths and misconceptions about Flu. I wasnt aware that it could afflict even the young adults. And that's a high number of deaths due to influenza virus.
    Thanks for this awareness post, Roshan!

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