There’s one common disease that spreads like wildfire and shows its face during the happiest time of the year. You guessed right. It’s the flu. Where and how it started, we may never know, but we do know one thing: it is here to stay.
Many of us treat the flu like some inevitable disease that comes when it gets cold and leaves when we can finally see the sun again. But it is not so. The flu is a deadly virus and should be treated like all other deadly viruses (I’m pretty certain we know some). As we are in the middle of the ‘flu season’, let’s deal with some of the myths that we have come to believe.
Myth: My friend took the flu shot, and he got the flu.
Fact: The flu shot does not give you the flu. In fact, the flu shot CANNOT give you the flu. It contains dead flu viruses, which cannot infect you. Many people get the vaccine and mistake the soreness or a common cold for the flu. If you got the flu vaccine over two weeks ago (it takes a couple of weeks to set in), you do not have the flu.
Myth: The flu is nothing but a serious cold. People are dying from AIDS.
Fact: The flu is actually a really serious illness. The number of people that die from the disease each year is more than the number of people that die from AIDS and close to the number of people that die from breast cancer. Yes, it is not to be taken lightly.
Myth: They say chicken soup is good for the soul. So pepper soup must be good for my flu.
Fact: Soup and diseases have nothing to do with each other. Pepper soup may make your throat feel less sore, and soothe your chest, but it can’t heal your flu.
Myth: When it is cold, you must dress warmly or you’d get the flu!
Fact: Influenza is a virus. So you don’t catch it because you exposed yourself to cold weather. You catch it because you exposed yourself to someone else who has the virus, or you came in contact with an object that had come in contact with someone who had the virus. Gosh, that’s just a big old cycle.
Myth: The flu is okay. It’s the bird flu and swine flu we should be worried about.
Fact: Bird and swine flu mutations are still the flu. They are just that: mutations. In reality, every year, the flu virus itself mutates. The difference is that researchers had a chance to watch the mutation and could tweak vaccinations to keep people healthy. With the bird and swine flu mutations, they came on so fast that researchers did not have a chance to do their research and study the mutations. Right now, they should be just as deadly as a regular flu. So if you are afraid of swine flu, you should be afraid of the flu.
Myth: When you have the flu, what do you take? Antibiotics! illnesses
Fact: Per doctors, flu is a virus. Antibiotics fight bacterial infections. Unless your flu has some bacterial infections attached to it, or unless the flu made way for you to get some bacterial infections, antibiotics would do nothing to help you with your flu. Sorry!
In summary, the flu is more dangerous than we think it is. Because we come from a culture that promotes the “Disease no dey kill African man” philosophy, most of us don’t realize this until we see someone hospitalized or even dead from the disease. So we don’t get vaccinated, and don’t treat the flu properly when we have it. The cold does leave us susceptible. Not because the cold brings the virus, but because we are constantly sharing warm clothes, cleaning our noses and then opening doors, and rushing into warmth without paying much attention to the things and people we touch.
So please take precautions this season as you have a Compliments of the Season!!!