San Antonio – Each flu season, between five and 20 percent of Americans catch some strain of the flu, leading to more than 30 thousand deaths per year from flu-related complications. Doctors with the group Greater San Antonio Emergency Physicians (GSEP) say those numbers can be brought down – if more people get flu shots.
“There’s a concept known as ‘herd immunity,’” says GSEP Physician Dr. Steven Shroyer. “It’s a strategy where if enough people become immunized against a disease, they protect those who do not get immunized by keeping them from coming in contact with that disease. And in the case of influenza, it’s a strategy that’s being undermined by a few damaging and incorrect myths about the flu vaccine.”
In the interest of demystifying the vaccine, Dr. Shroyer recently released a list of seven common flu myths he believes prevent people from getting the vaccine:
- The flu vaccine will give me the flu.
- The flu vaccine will give my child autism.
- The flu vaccine will give me Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
- Antibiotics like penicillin or azithromycin help fight the flu.
- Antivirals like Tamiflu get rid of the flu, so I don’t need a vaccine.
- The flu is just another cold virus, and I can tough it out if I catch it.
- You need an expensive test to diagnose someone with the flu.
Dr. Shroyer talks flu myths with Jeff Roper on ‘SA Live!’
To help educate the public about these myths, Dr. Shroyer recently took his message to TV, conducting interviews with both KSAT 12’s ‘SA Live!’ as well as KENS 5’s Eyewitness News. Dr. Shroyer hopes these appearances will help stop the spread of misinformation about the flu vaccine, as well as influenza in general. Media outlets interested in booking an appearance with Dr. Shroyer should contact JT Street at (210) 348-8008 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
When it was founded in 1980, Greater San Antonio Emergency Physicians was the first all board-certified emergency physicians group in the state of Texas. This year, the group will care for more than 200,000 patients at multiple facilities throughout the San Antonio area. GSEP is dedicated to providing the best medical care possible to those patients, and ensuring that patients are properly informed about their medical options.
*10/11/15 9:40am update: Link added to KENS 5 Interview