There’s a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation about what the flu is, how it’s spread, and the efficacy of flu shots. That’s why we turned to medical experts to set the record straight by dispelling some common myths.

There’s no silver bullet to protect you from the flu completely, but there are a few steps you can take to protect your health. “Proper hand hygiene is the most important means of preventing the spread of infection. Hand washing is like a ‘do-it-yourself’ vaccine that stops the spread of germs,” says Dr. Mary Anne Jackson, director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City, MO. And of course, she recommends that everyone in your family get the flu shot.

Here are the most common flu myths debunked by top doctors.

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