Ask the Expert: Five myths about the flu

By Tucson Medical Center

We’ve all been fooled by flu myths. 

But not anymore. 

Here are five common myths you might hear about the flu and why they’re not true. 

Myth 1: You can get the flu by going out in the cold without a jacket

Although flu season coincides with fall and winter, the two are not related. The only way to catch the flu is by being exposed to the influenza virus. 

Myth 2: Chicken soup will speed up your recovery

Nothing beats a steaming bowl of mom’s chicken soup when you’re sick, but other than soothing a sore throat and making you feel warm and cozy, the soup doesn’t have flu-fighting powers. 

Myth 3: You can catch the flu from the flu shot

It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to take effect, so you can still get sick during that time. However, the shot itself does not give you the flu. In fact, the vaccine is made with dead viral particles and because the virus is not living, it can’t infect you. 

Myth 4: Young and healthy people don’t need to worry about the flu

The flu is most threatening to older people and those with a chronic illness, but it can still cause severe symptoms in the young and healthy set. Also, getting the shot can prevent you from spreading the virus to those most vulnerable. Getting vaccinated can protect your grandparents. 

Myth 5: Throwing up means flu

Although, some people do end up with digestive issues during their bout with the flu, it’s not a typical symptom (fever, chills and sweats, cough, loss of appetite, body aches, etc.). If you’re experiencing nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, without the classic flu symptoms, you’re likely dealing with a completely different thing.  

See a doctor 24/7 no matter where you are. Whether it’s after hours or you don’t feel up to driving, you can see a doctor from wherever you are, any time of day (even the middle of the night or on holidays) with the TMC Now app. You can speak to a board-certified physician face-to-face using the built-in camera on your phone, tablet or computer. Visit for more information.