CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Flu season is here and it's hitting the Carolinas hard.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have classified both North and South Carolina as states experiencing high flu activity. In North Carolina, 35 people have died from the flu this season, while 25 South Carolinians have died as a result of the flu.
Dr. Michael Harrington, a Charlotte-based doctor of internal medicine, sat down with NBC Charlotte to separate flu season fact from fiction.
Antibiotics are the most effective treatment for the flu: FICTION
Antibiotics work well against bacteria, but they aren't effective for a viral infection like the flu. It's important to note that you can develop a bacterial infection as a complication of having the flu, which could need to be treated with antibiotics.
Sometimes the flu vaccine causes you to get the flu: FICTION
The flu shot is made from an inactivated virus that can't transmit infection. It takes a week or two to get protection from the vaccine so you're still highly susceptible to the flu during that period of time.
The flu vaccine changes every year: FACT
The influenza virus mutates each year, which is why it's important to make sure you have immunity to the current strains most likely to cause an outbreak.
It's pointless to get the flu vaccine now because we're already in season: FICTION
It's never too late in the season to protect yourself from the flu.