Cold and Flu Season is Here! Answers to Your Questions
Cold and flu season is here — are you ready?
FAQ’S ABOUT THE COLD AND FLU
Q. THE MOST COMMON MYTH I WANT TO DISPEL IS “DOC, I GOT A FLU SHOT AND IT GAVE ME THE FLU”
A. Short answer is “that is impossible since the flu vaccine is not a live vaccine, hence you cannot contract the FLU from the vaccine.” It’s designed to make your own body create antibodies so that when you are exposed to the “flu virus” during flu season your body will naturally fight it off.
In any given year, the vaccine is about 80% effective in preventing the flu.
Q. SHOULD I STAY HOME FROM WORK OR KEEP MY CHILD HOME FROM SCHOOL?
A. So, let’s keep it simple: If you or your child are feeling lousy (aches, fever, cough, sneezing runny nose or GI tract) that is actually the time you are MOST INFECTIOUS to others.
There is also a 24-hour period before you have any symptoms that you’re infectious as well, so STAY HOME FROM WORK OR SCHOOL to avoid being Contagious Cathy or Carl.
Q. WHEN DO I NEED TO COME IN TO SEE MY DOCTOR?
A. So if you really do get Influenza – or “the flu” – you will become ill quickly. It’s kinda like getting hit by a bus vs. just feeling bad which is more likely a cold virus. If you experience fever >100.5, chills, body aches, bone pain, and muscle cramps, get to your doctor’s office ASAP. There really are some meds that, if given in time, can help to shorten the flu symptom duration.
Q. IS THERE ANY TRUTH TO THE OLD SAYING: “FEED A COLD, STARVE A FEVER”?
A. OK, this old wives’ tale has just got to go. When you have a cold or the flu, you should eat healthy meals and make sure you drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated! Your eating habits do not need to change, just push those fluids.
Q. WHY DO COLDS AND FLU INCREASE DURING THE WINTER MONTHS?
Good question, because cold weather does not cause a cold or the flu. What happens is we tend to stay indoors more and are more likely to spread cold or flu germs to each other. There is some evidence emerging that colder environments and lower humidity allow the influenza virus to spread more efficiently.
Q. CAN I GET A FLU SHOT IF I HAVE A COLD?
Yes, as long as you are not terribly ill with a high fever, you may still get a flu shot.
You should get your flu shot as soon as you can. It takes a few weeks for your body to develop antibodies that will protect you throughout the flu season.
Yes, you are a candidate for the flu shot. Protect yourself and those you love.
With love to all my patients,
—Dr. Clint Potter is a general practice physician in Naples, FL. In addition to medical marijuana, his practice, Advance Individualized Medicine of Naples, provides specialized care for addiction services, cosmetic procedures, and LGBTQ patients. He treats the entire patient and takes an individualized approach. Call (239) 260-3880 or Text (239) 217-1247 for more information or to schedule an appointment. You can also email him.