Flu Facts: All Your Questions Answered

Worried about getting sick this flu season? Dr. Nicholas Testa is in the California Live studio to answer all your questions and make sure you have your flu facts straight. 

How often do I need to get the flu shot?

Once a year. Dr. Testa said you should get the flu shot every year so your immunization is up to date. Each year a different strain of the flu is prevalent so getting a shot each year decreases your chances of getting that specific strain. Testa recommends getting your flu shot in October, right at the start of flu season to decrease your chances of getting the flu. 

Who should get the flu shot?  

"Children six months and over all the way to everyone else," said Testa. 

So, everyone should get the flu shot but there are some groups who should prioritize getting the flu shot more like those who have diabetes or COPD. Testa said pregnant women should get the flu shot while pregnant so they can pass the immunization onto their baby. 

Will I get sick from getting a flu shot? 

No, you won't get sick from getting a flu shot, that is just a myth. More often than not, people who say they got sick from a flu shot just got a common cold. 

"So people do get the flu shot and get some other kind of common cold," said Testa. "Then they make this connection that I got sick because I got the flu shot. There has been nothing to show that when you get the flu shot you get sick."

How do you prevent getting the flu?

Dr. Testa said to wash your hands and covering your mouth when you cough. But he said the most important thing that people often overlook is to remember to stay at home when you are sick. By staying home when you have the flu, you don't spread the flu to more people and you get better quicker.

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