TEMPLE, Texas - The flu in Central Texas isn't getting any worse.

But it's not getting any better.

With several questions out there about the flu, Channel 6 set out to answer them with the help of Dr. Joshua Parker from ExpressER.


Does the flu shot make symptoms less severe?

"It usually takes about 5-7 days to build up the immunity that the vaccine is creating," Parker said. "So, if you get the flu during that time period, your symptoms could be less than if you hadn't gotten the vaccine at all."

After that, Parker said if the vaccine is effective, you shouldn't get infected. If you do, he said it may be a strain of the flu not addressed in the vaccine.


Are some people immune to the flu?

According to a small study done on that specific question, Parker said that is FALSE.

"Every single patient showed some sort of reaction," Parker said. "That reaction might be as small as an increase in the amount of white blood cells that were responsible for fighting that virus."


Does chicken noodle soup lessen flu symptoms?

The "mom's cure" does not lessen symptoms of the flu. However, it can help "take the edge" off of symptoms, helping a patient feel better.

"The reason it's so good is because it's salt and water which are very hydrating," Parker said.

The salt and water can help someone suffering from the flu re-gain salt and water loss from the illness or from decreased drinking and eating usually associated with being sick.


Does wearing a mask really help stop the spread of the flu?


According to Dr. Parker, anti-bacterial practices like the use of hand sanitizer and washing your hands can kill the virus on your hands and where you apply it.

In fact, when you combine these practices with wearing a mask, when sick, it can decrease the spread of the flu virus dramatically.

"Wearing a mask and keeping your hands clean can reduce the spread of the flu by 75 percent," Parker said. "It's very, very effective because the flu is spread by respiratory droplets."


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