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4 common flu myths: H3N2 flu symptoms

Posted at 7:32 AM, Oct 16, 2012

You've probably heard by now it's time to get your flu shot.

But let's face it, some of you will not get it because you think it will do more harm than good. Doctors will tell you in almost every case, that's a myth. 

Every flu season Dr. Dennis Cunningham with Nationwide Children’s Hospital spends time talking to kids about prevention.

He says if there's one group that catches, carries and infects more than any other, it's them.

Dr. Cunningham says, "Germs are pretty easy to pass around and flu is really contagious. It's very easy for one child to give it to another child and the next thing you know, they bring it home."

And they can bring it home purely by contact.

Myth #1 is that the flu is only spread by sneezing. Doctors used a demonstration to show how quickly kids can spread almost anything.

Toys were dusted with a powder invisible under normal light, but after sharing the toys for just a few minutes, you can see with black lights just how much the powder like a virus has spread.

Myth #2 is that you should wait until it's cold outside to get your flu vaccine.

Dr. Cunningham says, "It turns out vaccinating people even in august will protect them throughout the entire flu season. This also includes the elderly who typically have been the group people were most worried about."

Myth #3 is that flu vaccines don't protect you from current strains. But researchers work hard to stay one step ahead of the virus.

Dr. Cunningham says, "Every year there's two a strains that are picked and one b strain of influenza. So we're going to be protected against everything that's likely to circulate."

Myth #4 is that you can actually catch the flu from a flu vaccine. The vaccine can make you achey and leave your arm sore, but it's not the flu.

Dr. Cunningham says, "True influenza, someone is sick in bed for a week. High, high fevers, achiness, everything hurts."

Doctors also say cleaning your hands often will help - and it's very important to make sure kidsget flu shots. They can not only infect each other at school, but siblings, parents and grandparents as well.