Homespun medical advisers had it all wrong when they warned you that going outside with wet hair would cause you to catch a cold.
The same goes for the advice touting a drab of whiskey or brandy as a cold treatment. And the warning that the flu shot causes the flu? Also off the mark.
Dr. Doug Hardy, an infectious-disease specialist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says people shouldn’t depend on myths — even plausible ones — when they’re trying to stay healthy.
“The simplest and best germ-fighting tactic is to wash your hands often, especially if you’ve been interacting with people or if you’ve been in a high-traffic, public place like a shopping mall,” said Dr. Hardy, who added that getting a flu shot is an important preventive measure.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest recommended targeted groups for 2008-09 flu shots include: Children aged 6 months up to their 19th birthday; pregnant women; people 50 years of age and older; anyone with certain chronic medical conditions; people who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities; people who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including health care workers, household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu, household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated).
Most of these groups are recommended for vaccination because they are at high risk of having serious flu complications or they live with or care for people at high risk for serious complications.
Some other old wives’ tales worth forgetting:
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