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Published January 11, 2013, 10:04 PM

Taking a look at 5 common flu myths

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - One of the earliest and deadliest flu seasons in years is upon us, keeping many people on alert for spreading germs, but some of our ideas of flu causes and cures are simply myths.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - One of the earliest and deadliest flu seasons in years is upon us, keeping many people on alert for spreading germs, but some of our ideas of flu causes and cures are simply myths.

When there is a flu bug going around, people take to their time-tested treatments, but many culturally accepted causes and cures are misguided.

Here are five common flu myths:

Myth #1: Going out in the cold causes the flu,

You have to actually come in contact with the flu virus to get the flu. Getting severely chilled to the point of hypothermia could weaken the immune system and make you more susceptible, but simply going outside with damp hair isn't going to get you sick.

Myth #2: The flu shot can cause the flu.

Dr. Dubert Guerrero, MD – Sanford Health Infectious Disease: "The vaccine that we use is actually inactivated, so it should not be causing the actual disease. Sometimes, it's normal that you can have a mild reaction to it, where you get a little bit of fever that goes away."

Myth #3: Vitamins and antibiotics cure the flu.

Antibiotics treat bacterial infections. Since influenza is a virus, they are ineffective, and loading up on Vitamin C, a popular treatment, does little to get rid of the flu.

Myth #4: Chicken soup cures the flu.

Dr. Dubert Guerrero: "It's not the chicken soup; it's really the fluid that you're taking in. So, it can be any fluid. Water would still be the most beneficial."

Myth #5: Feed a cold, starve a fever.

This old wives' tale might sound clever, but if you're sick, poor nutrition isn't going to help you feel any better.

Treatments that do help with the flu include antiviral therapy and drugs like Tamiflu.

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