Spread truth about the flu season

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Yes, flu season is upon us (“Flu bug arrives early; clinics ready,” News Messenger front page, Dec. 6). And while I’m sure Dr. (Glenn) Barney is a great chiropractor, his information on the flu vaccine is simply wrong.
1. Flu is a serious illness that kills thousands every year, usually the very young and elderly. It is utterly miserable, even if you’re young and healthy. You don’t want it!
2. You cannot get the flu from the injectable flu vaccine. It is not a live virus vaccine. Everyone has heard a story about someone “getting the flu from the vaccine.” They were just unlucky enough to be exposed to the real flu either before or within a week or so after getting the vaccine (it takes about two weeks for your body to mount the immune response to the vaccine).
3. There is no conspiracy theory. Enough said.
4. If you get the flu (rapid onset fever, chills, body aches, nonproductive cough — but much worse than your ordinary “cold”), then contact your primary-care provider. If given within 48 hours of symptom onset, antiviral medication can lessen your suffering by one to three days.
May not seem like much, but when it comes to flu symptoms, every day counts!
Be safe out there.
Robert Bixler, M.D., Auburn Medical Clinic, board-certified in family medicine, Auburn