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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Flu Myths

Norman Edelman, MD

Our guest blogger is Norman H. Edelman, MD, the American Lung Association’s Chief Medical Officer for 25 years. Dr. Edelman also provides patient care as a teaching clinic supervisor and is a Professor of Preventive Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Physiology and Biophysics at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is also a national spokesperson for Faces of Influenza, a national influenza awareness initiative conducted in collaboration with the American Lung Association and Sanofi Pasteur..

During this time of year, questions start to crop up about the flu and I hear a lot of confusion and misinformation spreading around about the virus and the vaccine. Here are the more common questions and myths I hear:

“I never get the flu, so why should I get the flu shot?”

“I had the flu last year and it wasn’t that bad.”

“I don’t want to get the flu from the vaccine.”

The fact is, influenza is a serious infectious disease that can lead to hospitalization and death. Everyone is at risk of contracting the virus. And everyone 6 months of age and older is recommended for vaccination every year.

The key to understanding the flu is to educate yourself early. Go to reputable sources such as your own physician, the American Lung Association’s Faces of Influenza website, WebMD,  or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to get the facts.

Vaccination is safe and effective, and the best way to help prevent influenza and its complications.

Posted by: WebMD Blogs at 8:00 am