Flu & Measles Myths Debunked with Baptist Health South Florida

We partnered with Baptist Health to provide this important information in time for flu season. 

“It’s the most *germy-est* time of the year…”

The holiday season is somewhat synonymous with flu season and every Mom knows that the threat of having the flu is inevitable. It’s officially flu season in Miami! Did you know that research trends show that there are roughly 20% more flu cases in Miami-Dade this year than there were at this time last year? 

There has also been a lot of concern about measles outbreaks around the country. What does this mean for families in South Florida?

Flu & Measles Myths Exposed

With a lot of buzz around the flu, the flu vaccine, and the measles, Miami Moms Blog wants to provide you with helpful information and debunk the myths associated with these hot topics. We decided to go straight to the source and we interviewed Dr. Fernando Mendoza, Medical Director of the Children’s Emergency Center at Baptist Children’s Hospital.

Check out the video below where we asked him the questions Moms want to know about the flu, the flu vaccine, and the measles. 


Myth # 1: You can get the flu from the flu shot.

When we asked Dr. Mendoza this question he immediately replied, “Simply not true.” You cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine. He further explained that most flu vaccine options are dead virus injections. This means that dead pieces of the flu virus are injected and they cause a reaction in your body. The reaction helps your body to fight future infection. When you experience soreness, or symptoms after receiving the flu vaccine it is an indication that your body is ramping up its defense mechanisms to combat future sickness. 

Myth #2: If you have already had the flu this season you do not need the flu vaccine. 

Dr. Mendoza advises that because there are 2 strains of the flu virus you can get infected twice in one flu season. This makes receiving a flu vaccine imperative to fighting off a potential second round of the virus. 

Myth #3: You must have direct contact with someone who has the flu to catch the virus. 

This is not true because the flu virus is airborne which means you can easily catch the virus while traveling for the holidays. Airplanes use recycled air which can make you more susceptible to getting sick. The best way to guard against sickness during holiday travels? Get your flu shot. According to the CDC, the best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year.

Myth #4: Measles vaccines are not effective. 

According to Dr. Mendoza, 1 measles vaccine is 92% effective and 2 vaccines are 97% effective.

In 2018-2019 we began to see pocket resurgences of the measles in the United States. Did you know that Miami Dade County is one of the top at risk measles outbreak areas in the country? This is due largely in part to the amount of international travel in and out of Miami.

Myth #5: Measles vaccinations are linked to autism. 

Dr. Mendoza assured us that numerous scientific studies show that vaccines are effective and are not linked to autism. We did however learn an interesting fact about measles and immunity. When someone gets the measles, it wipes their body out of the antibodies built up over time which makes them more susceptible to future illness and death. 

Protect Your Family from Influenza

Did you know that flu season can last through May? It is important to be prepared and protected from influenza and measles. Children are most likely to get flu because of how easily the virus is transmitted. The most at risk for complications from the flu are children under 6 months and adults over 65. 

Are you concerned that your child may have the flu? Dr. Mendoza shared that typical flu symptoms are fever, body aches, vomiting and cough. If you or your child show flu-like symptoms you should contact your doctor or visit a Baptist Health location in Miami. You can even schedule a visit using Save My Spot so you don’t have to wait to see a health care provider. 

Flu shots are available at Baptist Health Primary Care offices.

Free flu vaccines are also available for adults and children ages four and up, while supplies last, at the following locations*:

Baptist Health Urgent Care Express | Country Walk
15721 SW 152 Street
Miami, FL 33187

Baptist Health Urgent Care Express | Key Biscayne 
240 Crandon Boulevard, Suite 110 
Miami, FL 33149 
786-595-8250 ​

Baptist Health Urgent Care Express | West Coral Springs 
5673 Coral Ridge Drive
Coral Springs, FL 33076

Express Care is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. A nurse practitioner, along with a full clinical support team, is available during hours of operation. For any questions, visit BaptistHealth.net/ExpressCare.

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Cierra is the Owner & Founder of Miami Mom Collective. A Southern girl with Alabama roots, she has lived in California, Israel, China, Texas and Florida. Cierra quickly fell in love with the beauty and diversity of South Florida when she first visited Key Biscayne after reconnecting with (and later marrying!) her high school sweetheart. Before having children of her own, she oversaw more than 100 as the Director of Key Biscayne Presbyterian School. In 2017 she launched into her latest and greatest adventure: motherhood! Cierra is Mama to a joyful 5 year girl, an energetic 3 year old boy, snuggly 1 year old boy, and a smiley baby girl! Her hands and heart are FULL to say the least! Cierra is passionate about leading and developing women to use their unique gifts to serve and encourage others. She founded Miami Mom Collective to encourage, equip, and empower Moms with relevant resources and a meaningful community. Follow her on Instagram to stay connected.