Fear of the flu in 2018 is in full swing, and with good reason. Here in Texas, health officials say that at least 2,500 people have died from the illness.
There is a lot of misinformation floating around about the flu as a result of its devastating impact.
On our KENS 5 Facebook page, we've received dozens of comments about the flu in the past few days, which prompted us to ask Dr. Sky Izaddoost, from the Children's Hospital of San Antonio primary care unit, four questions to find out what is true and what is false.
On Facebook Ashley commented:
"My 2-year-old broke out in pretty severe hives for a little over a week after being diagnosed with the flu."
So we asked Dr. Sky if getting hives means you are getting the flu.
"You can get hives for a lot of reasons,” she said. “Right now, the cedar counts are also ungodly high so some kids that have finally got to go out in the nice weather are coming in with hives. But we haven't seen it being linked to flu, at least in our clinic."
Michael commented on a story we aired Wednesday about free flu shots, which showed people waiting for the shot. He said:
"... and every single one of them is going to get sick now thanks to the shot."
So, can you get sick from the flu shot?
"No. That is a very common misconception,” Dr. Sky said. “You cannot get the flu from the flu shot. The flu shot is not a live virus. It cannot give you the flu."
On Facebook, Jamie commented:
"Nothing like a good scare tactic to get folks lining up for a useless injection.”
But Dr. Sky noted that everyone should get a flu shot, and it’s not too late.
"Please, please get your flu shot,” she said. “Keep in mind, it takes two weeks for the flu shot to become effective, so the earlier you can get it, the better off you're going to be."
Lastly, Christina commented:
"The majority of the dying are the ones who got the flu shot."
Is that true or false?
"Because of privacy laws, we are not allowed to know that information and probably won't be released to the public,” Dr. Sky said.
The doctor added that besides getting the shot, the best way to prevent any illness is to stay hydrated, make sure everybody is washing their hands, and cover your mouth when you cough.