Fact or Fiction – Winter Health Issues

‘The Flu Jab Gives you Flu’ – Fiction

The facts

Winter health is complicated, we all can be more susceptible to catching coughs, colds and flu.

There are several types of Flu Vaccine and these give you the best protection against catching Flu.

They do contain live viruses, but cannot GIVE you flu. However, the live antibodies actually ‘teach’ your bodies immune system how to protect itself from the flu and so there may be side effects like, a fever (temperature 37.8°C or above) feeling tired, headaches, aches and chills and sometimes stomach effects for a couple of days after the jab.

It can take up to 2 weeks to work, so in that time you could still catch the flu or other colds, thats why its good to get a jab as soon as you can to make sure you are covered. It also prevents the spread to others.

To try and avoid symptoms after a flu jab take paracetamol every 4 hours, do not exceed 8 500mg tablets in 24 hours.

‘Being cold all the time gives you a cold’ – Fiction

The Facts

Contrary to popular belief, cold weather or being chilled doesn’t cause a cold. However, more colds do occur during the cold season (early Autumn to late winter). This can be due to people staying indoors more and are in closer proximity to each other, central heating causing dry nasal passages and cold weather inhibits the ability of mucus and nasal hairs to work disease agents out of your nose (eeeugh) as well as closed windows so less ventilation to allow germs out of enclosed spaces.

You are more likely to get a cold if you are tired and stressed as this reduces the immune system.

Colds are caused by viruses and are easily spread to other people. A person with a cold can spread it from a couple of days before symptoms and after they finish.

For best protection wash your hands regularly in warm soapy water and do not share towels and cups with someone who has a cold.

Plenty of fluids, paracetamol and caffine during the day, can help with the symptoms. After blowing your nose always throw tissues away in a bin with a lid on it and wash hands each time.

‘Feed a cold, starve a fever’ – Fiction

The Facts

Whether you have a cold or a fever it is important to keep up your energy levels to fight any illness. So try and eat as much as you can of whatever you fancy!

Fluids are particularly important to stay hydrated and flush the system.

Fevers can reduce your appetite, however, as above, whatever you can stomach will help. A fever is your body’s way of combatting infection, however paracetamol will help manage it and its a good excuse to eat that cake you fancy if you can.

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