Sick Myths: What Causes the Flu?

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Before you make drastic flu-fighting decisions (like making your hubby sleep on the couch), take note of these germ truths.

Kissing can cause the flu…FALSE
Most viral infections seep in through your nose and eyes, not your mouth. In fact, in a Journal of Infectious Diseases study, only 8 percent of people fell sick after smooching someone who had a cold. “It’s actually safer to kiss someone who’s sick than shake his hand,” says microbiologist Charles Gerba, Ph.D.

Staying in a hotel room can cause the flu…TRUE
A third of hotel room surfaces were still coated in germs nearly a full day after a sick person spent the night, says research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Protect yourself by swabbing hard surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, and remote controls with hand sanitizer or alcohol-based wipes.

Using an old toothbrush can cause the flu…FALSE
No need to toss your toothbrush after recovering from a cold or flu—you can’t reinfect yourself. When you fall ill, your immune system creates antibodies specific to the strain of virus you have. Those good guys stick around to make sure you never get the same exact virus again, says Josh Miller, D.O.

Source: Women’s Health

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Nathalie Kalache is a Biologist and a fifth year Pharmacy major. She loves to write about anything related to health, fitness, science and medicine. She is the founder of BelleBeirut and Senior editor of the french version.