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VERIFY: Can you use antibiotic cream to prevent the flu?

Does antibiotic cream stop the flu?

No one wants to get the flu.

So, when you find flu prevention tips online though social media, it may be tempting to try them out.

Channel 6 heard about one online post that stated, "Tip for flu season. For about $3 you can get this ointment containing bacitracin zinc.. to aid in preventing contracting the flu virus and other germs." It added, "use a q-top and apply a thin layer inside each nostril daily."

The post suggests using antibiotic cream in your nose to create a barrier against the flu.

But does it work?

Doctors told us no -- and it's not hard to understand why.

Dr. Chris Ohl at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center said the suggestion is an old wives tale and stated the claims, "have no validity to them at all."

Dr. Bryan Thomas at the Express ER in Temple told Channel 6 the flu virus is transported though the air, which means it can enter the body though the nose, mouth, or eyes. Thomas said there is only one product he could recommend to help fight the flu.

"Tamiflu is effective as long as it's given early in the course of the illness, so within forty eight hours," Thomas said.

For those worried about catching the flu or spreading it to others, the Bell County Public Health District recommends using surgical masks to contain the virus. It is also important wash hands and not touch your eyes or mouth when around others who may be sick.

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