The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that an average of 30,000 deaths occur annually as a result of flu and associated complications. Influenza is a serious and potentially deadly disorder.
With last year’s flu outbreak ranking among the worst in recent history, Mayo Clinic experts are offering advice and dispelling many misconceptions about the flu to help people stay healthy.
Infectious diseases specialist Teresa Seville, M.D., at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, says, “The vaccine is the best defense against flu and serious flu-related conditions, and because it’s difficult to predict how and when the flu will strike, I recommend getting it as early as you can."
One of the most common myths about the flu is that the vaccine will cause the flu. Jennifer White, M.D., family medicine physician at Mayo Clinic Health System in Springfield, Minn., says, “Although many people believe this, it is a myth. Injectable flu vaccines are composed of portions of inactivated flu proteins, and it’s impossible for them to cause the flu. Nasal spray vaccines have live, weakened flu organisms that can’t multiply or cause disease.”
Vandana Bhide, M.D., internal medicine specialist at Mayo Clinic in Florida, adds, “Though many people who get the flu will have fever, muscle aches and need to stay home from work or school for a few days, certain people can develop serious complications, which could include pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and other conditions. The vaccine can help avoid these issues.”
Read news release for more information and tips for avoiding illness.
Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Bhide are available in the downloads.