The flu is a contagious and infectious illness caused by the influenza virus that infects the nose, throat, and sometimes lungs. Flu symptoms may include fever or chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle and body aches, headaches, and fatigue. Symptoms usually appear within the first four days of exposure to the virus but are immediately contagious. Most healthy patients will recover within seven to ten days. Ways to avoid getting and spreading the flu include washing hands, covering a cough or sneeze, and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and shared items. However, the flu shot remains the best defense against influenza.
A Flu Shot Will Not Give You The Flu
There is a common myth that getting the flu vaccination will cause the flu. Some people think getting the flu shot can cause sickness during the stage of antibody development because of the flu shot itself. However, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu vaccination is either made from an inactivated virus or a vaccine that does not contain the virus at all. Therefore, the vaccination cannot transmit the virus. There can be mild side effects due to the flu shot, but they are not from the illness. The side effects may last up to two days and include a low-grade fever, aches, and soreness, redness or swelling where the shot was given.