WICHITA FALLS, TX (RNN Texoma) - Cases of the flu have already been confirmed in Wichita Falls and as we inch closer to the peak months of flu season those numbers are likely to go up.
After one of the worst flu seasons on record last year, medical experts are encouraging everyone to get vaccinated. However, common flu myths cause some people to skip the flu shot.
“Every single year is, ‘I got the flu shot and now I have the flu’,” said Brandi Moran, a family nurse practitioner for United Regional physician group.
She said that is impossible to happen and is one of the most common myths.
“The flu vaccine is a dead virus. It is dead,” said Moran. “It cannot cause you to become ill. It can cause you to have little reactions just like with any sort of vaccine, like you may just not feel well.”
Another common myth, ‘I got the flu shot last year, I don’t need one this year.’
"The strains of flu change so much every year and so this vaccine is different than the one from last year, so that's why it's important to continue getting them every single year," said Moran.
While children, the elderly, and pregnant women are at a higher risk of getting the flu Moran said everyone should get vaccinated.
“Go for it, even if you’re healthy,” said Moran. “Nobody wants the flu.”
While the cold and flu have similar symptoms, Moran said there is one way you can find out if you caught the flu.
"The thing with the flu is a lot of people get a pretty significant fever," said Moran. "People with a cold usually not as significant of a fever."
If you think you did get the flu, Moran said it's best to contact your doctor by phone first.
"The safest thing to do is call a doctor from your home and tell them about your symptoms," said Moran. "If they actually want you to come in and be seen, do so and as soon as you get into the office wear a mask."
The mask is to prevent you from exposing the virus to others. Last year United Regional treated close to 1,300 patients with the flu. The majority were seen between December and February.