What’s the Real Story on Influenza (Flu)? In my experience as a nurse, I have heard many questions about the flu and the flu vaccine. With flu season upon us, I wanted to look at some of the common myths I hear every year about influenza (“the flu”) and the vaccine in hopes to provide some accurate information for you to learn and share this season!
By Kathryn Germuth,
Public Health, Northern Health
There is often a misunderstanding about the flu, with many believing that influenza is the stomach flu or the common cold. In fact, influenza (“the flu”) is generally much worse than the common cold. Symptoms such as fever, headache, aches and pains, extreme fatigue, and cough are more common and more intense with the flu than they are with the common cold.
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The common cold also generally does not result in serious health problems. Influenza, on the other hand, can lead to bacterial infections such as ear infection, a sinus infection, bronchitis, or pneumonia. Certain groups of people – such as seniors 65 and older, very young children, and people who have lung or heart disease, certain chronic health conditions, or weakened immune systems – are at high risk for serious flu complications.