10 Flu Myths

These Myths were adapted from the Harvard University health website and uploaded to our blog for ease of viewership. As of October 1st, we have Flu vaccines in clinic at Vista Complete Care in Auburn, CA.

1 MYTH: You can catch the flu from the vaccine.

The vaccine is made from an inactivated virus that can’t transmit infection. So people who get sick after receiving a flu vaccination were going to get sick anyway. It takes a week or two to get protection from the vaccine. But people assume that because they got sick after getting the vaccine, the shot caused their illness.

2 MYTH: Healthy people don’t need to be vaccinated.

While it’s especially important for people who have a chronic illness to get the flu shot, anyone — even healthy folks — can benefit from being vaccinated. Current CDC guidelines recommend yearly vaccination against influenza for everyone older than 6 months of age, including pregnant women.

3 MYTH: Getting the flu vaccination is all you need to do to protect yourself from the flu.

There are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself during flu season besides vaccination. Avoid contact with people who have the flu, wash your hands frequently, and consider taking anti-viral medications if you were exposed to the flu before being vaccinated.

4 MYTH: The flu is just a bad cold.

Influenza may cause bad cold symptoms, like sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, hoarseness, and cough. But in the United States alone, 36,000 people die and more than 200,000 are hospitalized each year because of the flu. During the 2017/18 flu season, flu activity has significantly increased throughout the majority of the country with the A(H3N2) viruses predominating so far, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). A(H3N2) virus-predominant influenza seasons have been associated with more hospitalizations and deaths in people age 65 years and older as well as young children. It’s not too late to get a flu shot. Even if it doesn’t prevent you from getting the flu, it can decrease the chance of severe symptoms.

5 MYTH: You can’t spread the flu if you’re feeling well.

Actually, 20% to 30% of people carrying the influenza virus have no symptoms.

6 MYTH: You don’t need to get a flu shot every year.

The influenza virus changes (mutates) each year. So getting vaccinated each year is important to make sure you have immunity to the strains most likely to cause an outbreak.

7 MYTH: You can catch the flu from going out in cold weather without a coat, with wet hair or by sitting near a drafty window.

The only way to catch the flu is by being exposed to the influenza virus. Flu season coincides with the cold weather. So people often associate the flu with a cold, drafty environment. But, they are not related.

8 MYTH: Feed a cold, starve a fever.

If you have the flu (or a cold) and a fever, you need more fluids. There’s little reason to increase or decrease how much you eat. Though you may have no appetite, “starving” yourself will accomplish little. And poor nutrition will not help you get better.

9 MYTH: Chicken soup will speed your recovery from the flu.

Hot liquids can soothe a sore throat and provide much needed fluids. But chicken soup has no other specific qualities that can help fight the flu.

10 MYTH: If you have a high fever with the flu that lasts more than a day or two, antibiotics may be necessary.

Antibiotics work well against bacteria, but they aren’t effective for a viral infection like the flu. Then again, some people develop a bacterial infection as a complication of the flu, so it may be a good idea to get checked out if your symptoms drag on or worsen.

The flu is a good example of how medical myths can get in the way of good medical care. When it’s flu season, take the necessary steps to stay healthy. That includes separating fact from myth.

Come see us at Vista Complete Care in Auburn, CA either as a walk-in to our urgent care or schedule an appointment with one of our primary care providers to discuss your options!

R.I.C.E

icedankle

You may hear this repeated quite a bit at clinics like ours. “RICE” your ankle, “RICE” your knee. No, we’re not talking about grabbing some Uncle Ben’s and soaking your extremity in it. We’re talking about a simple acronym that can help with common joint injuries and joint pain. RICE stands for:

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Ring finger itch

ringrash

This seemed to be a natural topic to tackle, as I have now heard of two people who have developed this issue in the last couple of months. Both have been married for over 8 years. The story goes the first person began to notice irritation, dryness and itching to her ring finger. The same finger that she has had her wedding ring on for the last 9 years! What changed? Was she now allergic to that beautiful piece of jewelry? Well, as it turns out, this phenomenon is not as rare as we thought. The second individual also developed the EXACT same symptoms. Read more to learn about this all-to-common phenomenon. Continue reading

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

bloodclotpic2

You may (or may not) have heard of them before, but after a patient of mine in the ER recently was diagnosed with one of these, I thought it would be worth sharing.

A Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or “Blood Clot” can be the result of many things. This particular post is geared towards common causes and ways to prevent a DVT. While treatable, a DVT can lead to very serious complications including a Pulmonary Embolism (PE) blood clot in the lungs.

The story goes, this 50 year old male recently went on vacation to the Bahamas. A week long cruise that began with a cross country flight, followed by 7 days of bliss, culminating in another cross country flight back to California.

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Gold Country Fair

“California nights and Carnival lights”

It’s that time of year again! Bring the family out to the Gold Country Fair beginning September 6th-September 9th at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn, CA. Click the link for scheduled times, events and more family friendly fun!

Children under 5 and Active Duty military are free!

I personally enjoy the exhibits, but can never resist throwing a few baseballs at the milk cans! If you happen to throw your arm out (like I probably will) be sure to come see me or one of the other providers at Vista Complete Care on Bowman road in Auburn, CA. We have urgent care and walk-in visits Monday-Saturday!

Summer of Smoke

firepic

If you’re like most Northern Californians, you’re probably getting a little annoyed by all the smoke lately. In what has become one of the worst fire seasons in our state’s history, the smoke created by the multitude of fires spanning the state has put many at risk. Listed below are a few things to remember when the air quality is terrible:

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