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It’s flu season, and we bust the biggest ‘flu myths’

(Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

SEATTLE — Flu season is here, and so are the latest numbers from the Washington State Health Department.

At last check there has been only one lab confirmed flu death in Washington this season.  There have been four flu-like outbreaks in long-term health care facilities.  Right now, state health leaders say influenza A and B are both strands going around this season.

The good news, we’re seeing fewer cases now, than we typically do.

That could change, since flu season typically peaks between December and February.

The Washington State Health Department wants to help bust some flu myths...

Myth 1  -- The flu shot gives you the flu.  Doctors say that's not true.  The flu vaccine does not cause the flu.

Myth 2 --  You can't spread the flu when you don't feel sick.  Also not true.  The flu can spread days before a person knows they're sick.

Myth 3-- Kids and adults are contagious for the same amount of time.  Nope.  Kids are contagious twice as long as adults, about ten days after they're infected.

Myth 4 -- Flu season is annoying but can't cause major harm.  Not true.  Although most people will feel generally awful, older people, young kids, pregnant women and people with underlying health issues are at a greater risk for complications from the flu.  Those complications can include bacteria pneumonia, ear and sinus infection, dehydration or worse.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates there are between 3,000 and almost 50,000 flu related deaths each year.

Doctor say the best protection against the flu, is the vaccine.  It typically takes two weeks for the shot to kick in.