Year after year, so-called facts about the cold and flu viruses come out. Many of those “facts” are incorrect. You’ve probably heard some of them. You’ve heard people say that you’ll catch a cold going outside without being bundled up. You’ve heard people say that they got the flu from a flu shot.
Do you know what’s true about these viruses and what’s false? Learn the truth about these viruses so that you know how to best protect your parents from contracting them.
You Cannot Get the Flu From a Flu Shot
This is one of the leading mistruths. After getting a flu shot, your body gets to work building up immunities. You may find your arm is sore. You might feel a little drained of energy. You do not have the flu, however, and these annoying side effects go away in a day or two.
Some people do get the flu, but it’s not due to the flu shot. The problem is that it takes the body a few weeks to build up immunities to the virus. During those weeks, exposure to the flu could lead to you getting the flu anyway. People can have the flu for several days before showing symptoms so you could have been exposed without knowing it.
You Get a Cold From Being Exposed to Cold Temperatures
Have you ever heard someone scold a child for not having a hat on? “You’ll catch a cold if you don’t get your hat/gloves/coat on.” That’s incorrect. The cold is a virus that’s spread from a contagious person to others. Wearing warm clothing when outside in the cold isn’t going to stop you from getting a cold.
The Flu Shot Prevents You From Getting the Flu
With any vaccine, the vaccine lowers your chances of getting the disease. It doesn’t guarantee you won’t get the disease at all. A flu shot is a guessing game each year. Experts look at patterns and decide which strains are more likely to hit. If other strains hit and you’re exposed, you’ll end up with the flu. The CDC estimates a flu shot reduces your risk by as much as 60 percent.
If you have a cold or the flu, you need to stay home. Don’t go to visit your parents. If you are the main family caregiver, you need someone from an elderly care agency to step in for a while. Stay home and recover and let caregivers help out.
With respite care, your parents don’t go without help. Elderly care providers take over for as long as you need. Call our elderly care agency to make arrangements for temporary respite care.