HOUSTON -

There's a lot of advice floating around about the flu, but experts said it's good to know how to separate the good from the bad.

One of the most common myths is that the flu vaccine can give you the flu. Experts said that's not the case.

We know the flu is spread from person to person, but how long is someone with the virus contagious? Experts said most adults are contagious one day before symptoms start, and five to seven days after becoming sick. Children, however, may be contagious even longer.

Experts also said flu shots are the best defense against getting the flu, but you should get it soon. It takes two weeks for the body to build up the maximum protection.

Health officials said they often see a spike in flu cases after the Thanksgiving holiday as people travel and spend more time with family and friends.

Another myth is that the influenza virus can only be spread by close contact with someone who's sick. Experts said that's just not true. The flu can be spread to others up to 6 feet away or by touching a contaminated surface.

While children, the elderly or people with health problems are more likely to suffer complications from the virus, the flu can be serious even if you don't fall into those categories. Experts said otherwise healthy people die each year from the flu.