Home > Medical > Cold and flu infection > Overview Updated 25 July 2013 Seven flu myths These seven flu myths regularly do the rounds. Make sure you don't fall for any of them. 3 Pin It iStock Related Find out: is it a cold, sinusitis or flu? Know your symptoms Can aircon make you sick? Ask CyberDoc » Test Do you need vitamin C? » Join Body Talk » Quiz Addicted to pills? » No Flu for you 10 foods to boost your immune system Many misconceptions about the flu virus and vaccine persist, despite the widespread impact of the disease and the benefit of vaccine.Myth: Flu is no more than a nuisance, much like common cold that cannot be prevented.Fact: Flu is a severe and sometimes life-threatening disease that causes 250 000-500 000 deaths worldwide annually. You can avoid getting it by going for a flu shot every year.Myth: You can get flu from the injectable vaccination.Fact: The injectable vaccine does not contain any live virus, so it is impossible to get flu from the vaccine. Minor side effects may occur in some people such as mild soreness, redness, swelling at the injection site, headache or a low-grade fever. Most of the side effects are due to the body’s immune response to the vaccine. In fact, these side effects are an indication that the vaccine is working. Vaccination is the best way to prevent flu and its complications.Myth: It is not necessary to be immunised against flu every year because protection is carried over from previous vaccinations.Fact: The flu virus strains circulating in the community change from year to year. Because of this, a new vaccine is made each year to protect against current strains. Vaccination is especially important if you have not had pandemic H1N1 (swine flu) yet.Myth: Only the elderly are at risk for developing serious complications from the flu virus.Fact: Influenza impacts people of all ages. Young children are at higher risk of severe infections than older children and adults, and pandemic H1N1 typically causes more severe disease in pregnant patients during any stage of pregnancy.Myth: If I missed the chance to get an influenza vaccination before the winter season, I have to wait for next year.Fact: It’s never too late to be vaccinated. The best time is before the flu season, but vaccination during the flu season is still beneficial as the virus circulates well into winter and early spring.Myth: Too many vaccinations may overload a young child’s immune system.Fact: Everyone’s immune system can respond to a vast number of proteins, such as those included in vaccines. It was estimated that an infant’s immune system can respond to 10 000 of these proteins at one time.Myth: I can get pandemic H1N1 from eating pork.Fact: To date there have been no reported cases of pandemic H1N1 infection in humans, due to the consumption of pork. As ingestion is not the normal route of infection, and the virus is readily destroyed by cooking at 70 degrees C, the chance of this occurring is negligible.(Reviewed by Dr Jane Yeats, Department of Virology, University of Cape Town 2006) More in Medical How can flu be prevented? More: Cold and flu infectionOverview advertisement Get a quote Bestmed - offering you quality healthcare and freedom of choice Momentum - save up to 35% on healthcare Medihelp - quality, affordable medical scheme cover advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 3 comments Add your comment Thank you, your comment has been submitted. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Other news Lifestyle Snail fever to decline due to climate change Mental health Laughter can be dangerous to some people Mental health Treating autism with intestinal worms Medical Eczema sufferers may react to skin lotions Medical Irregular heartbeat linked to depression Lifestyle Energy drinks and alcohol a bad combination From our sponsors Sense of community key to a meaningful and fulfilling retirement Your retirement - a healthy mindset So many people, why so alone? You can still enjoy the sweet things in life Live healthier Depression » Depression Depression and ageing Teen depression Depression: do you know the signs? One of the key roles you can play in the health of someone who is depressed or suffers from anxiety is to make sure they get the help they need. Here's what you need to know. Healthy dog » Dog weightloss Dog behaviour Overweight dogs Food not to feed your dog Feeding you dog 'human food' may be detrimental to its health.