7 Cold and Flu Myths That Definitely Aren’t True in Hawaii
January 31, 2024
Myth : Learn the truth about the flu and the cold to protect your family’s health.
Myths : Each year, stories of cold temperatures and runny noses accompany a spike in mainland flu complaints during the winter months. Although the flu may seem like a far-off inconvenience that Hawaii residents shouldn’t have to worry about, it may nonetheless be a serious risk throughout the entire state. However, there’s no need to freak out because most of the information you’ve been told about cold and flu viruses is untrue. To keep your family and yourself healthy this season, educate yourself on the facts regarding the common cold and flu.
Myth: The Flu Isn’t That Serious
The flu is not to be taken lightly. Some people get symptoms that are so bad they require hospitalization. According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 140,000 and 960,000 hospital admissions and 12,000 to 79,000 fatalities have been linked to the flu since 2010.
Serious flu-related illness is more common among individuals over 65 and children under the age of five, especially in those under the age of two. Those who are expecting or who suffer from long-term conditions like diabetes, heart disease, or asthma are also more vulnerable. Myth is Flu-related complications might include sinus infections, ear infections, bacterial pneumonia, and exacerbation of previous medical disorders.
Myth: You Can Get The Flu From The Flu Vaccine
Occasionally, people who have had the flu shot get sick with it shortly after. What then goes wrong? First off, the effectiveness of flu shots can take up to two weeks. In the event that a someone contracts the flu, it is highly probable that they were exposed to the virus either prior to or within the two weeks following their vaccination. Redness, swelling, and pain at the injection site are the most frequent reactions, and they usually go away in one to two days.
Furthermore, not all flu viruses are protected against by the flu vaccine. It is only effective against strains that scientists determine to be the most prevalent in a particular year. It is still possible to contract a different kind of virus. Still, the greatest method to safeguard yourself and others from the flu is to get vaccinated.
Myth: Feed A Cold, Starve A Fever
Whether you have a fever or not, it’s crucial to keep a nutritious diet and enough of fluids when you’re unwell. Consider juice, water, and hot tea. Make yourself eat even if you’re not feeling hungry. While food cannot stop you from getting sick, a large bowl of chicken noodle soup can help you stay hydrated and ease sore throats.
Myth: Vitamin C Can Fend Off A Cold
Although vitamin C is vital to human health, studies have not yet shown that it effectively guards against colds. There is evidence that taking large amounts of vitamin C on a regular basis (over 200 mg/day) may help to lessen the length of cold symptoms when taken before symptoms appear. You will get roughly 200 milligrams of vitamin C from two big oranges. For women, the current recommended daily allowance of vitamin C is 75 mg, while for males, it is 90 mg.
Myth: Healthy People Don’t Need The Flu Vaccine
Getting the flu shot is your best line of defense against the illness. For most people six months of age and up, the CDC advises being vaccinated annually. You might not be able to receive the vaccination if you have a history of Guillain-Barré Syndrome, severe allergies, or an allergy to eggs.
Myth: A Bad Cold Can Turn Into The Flu
Although they originate from separate viruses, colds and the flu are both viral infections. The flu will never develop from a cold. Although the symptoms of a cold and the flu are similar, they are not the same.
The most common symptoms of a cold are sore throat and runny or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more severe and frequently appear suddenly. In addition to the symptoms listed above, they may also include fever, headaches, sore throats, body pains, exhaustion, and occasionally vomiting and diarrhea. Still, not every flu patient will show up with a fever or other similar symptoms.
The flu usually lasts longer than a common cold and can potentially result in pneumonia and other respiratory infections.Schedule a visit with your physician if you think you might have the flu.
Myth: Hawaii Has A Flu Season
Hawaii experiences flu infections all year round, in contrast to the Mainland, which has a more defined flu season that coincides with cooler winter months. The head of the State of Hawaii’s Disease Outbreak Control Division in Honolulu, Sarah Park, MD, says, “But we do see an uptick in disease activity around the winter time.” Since we usually lag the Mainland by approximately a month, we begin to pay closer attention when the Mainland begins to report significant flu activity. Usually, four weeks after the Mainland, we begin to observe an increase.
Flu shots are often only accessible in Hawaii during the same period as they would be on the Mainland, which is about fall through early spring, even though Hawaii does not have a flu season. Dr. Park states, “Our vaccine is sourced from the same place as the Mainland.” It is recommended to receive a flu shot as soon as possible to avoid missing out on supplies, but Park stressed that there is never a bad time to get vaccinated.