Calling in sick to work? Feeling ill? You're far from alone.
You may just have a cold, but you could also have the flu.
Allen County Health Commissioner Deb McMahon says flu season has started much earlier than we're used to. It's also much worse. The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention is reporting that flu-deaths have reached epidemic levels.
That's why now more than ever health officials are urging folks to get a flu shot.
But will it really protect you? WFFT asked McMahan to address some of the top flu-related myths.
Myth #1: you can get sick from the vaccine
"What you can sometimes feel when you get a flu shot or any kind of shot is your immune system revving up so to speak to make those protective antibodies and sometimes you can feel a little achy, mild fever. But no cough or anything likes that. It cannot transmit any kind of disease" says McMahan.
Myth #2: well, it's not so much a myth as simply a phobia
"The other think I hear a lot is that people are needle phobic" she says. There are other ways to get the vaccine. There's an intra-nasal mist for people under age 49. There's also a very short needle."
Now, even though you get a vaccine, that doesn't mean you can't get sick, but it likely won't be the flu.
"I think a lot of people think "well I got the flu shot and I got the flu." When they tell me the symptoms, they're having a runny nose, congestion. That's an upper respiratory infection. The flu is a systemic infection" says McMahan.
And one final myth to leave you with...
"I hear a lot, I've never had the flu so I don't need the vaccine. Well I've never been hit by a car, but I still look both ways" McMahan says.