Swine Flu Fact Check: Separating Fact From Fiction

Not everyone understands how you get the H1N1 virus, or how to prevent it. ABC News senior health and medical correspondent Dr. Richard Besser stopped by "GMA" to help separate the myths from the facts.

If you haven't seen many cases of the swine flu in your area, do you have to worry about catching it?

Besser said the idea that if you haven't seen the virus in your area, you don't need to worry about it, is a myth.

"Flu doesn't hit the whole country at the same time," he said.

The good news is that if your area hasn't been hit yet, you have time to get the vaccine to protect yourself.

VIDEO: Clearing Up Myths About Swine Flu
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Besser said you still need to get the vaccine, even if your area has so far been spared, because flu spreads more readily in cool weather.

Swine flu and seasonal flu have similar symptoms, will people be able to tell them apart?

Besser said it's a fact that swine flu and seasonal flu can look and feel the same.

"They may hit groups a little differently," he said, explaining that the swine flu has been hitting children harder, while the seasonal flu hits the elderly harder.

But in terms of the signs and symptoms, often "you can't tell them apart."

Swine Flu: Fact and Fiction

If you already have had the swine flu, do you need to get the vaccine?

"That depends," Besser said. "It depends on whether you had a specific test for swine flu, and a good test."

"If you had that test, bring it into your doctor and go over it," he advised. "You may not need the shot."

Do acupuncture, vitamins and other products that promise to shorten the duration of an illness help prevent the flu?

Acupuncture, vitamins and other remedies are "not prevention measures for the flu," Besser said.

While they may be good for your overall health and well-being, "don't confuse those with measures that will really prevent the flu."

Those preventative measures include the vaccine and frequent hand-washing.

"It's so important that people take responsibility for their health," he said.

Click here to return to the "Good Morning America" Web site.

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