School braces for another rough flu season

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School braces for another rough flu season

Macey Speed, News Editor

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Taking precautions to prevent catching the virus this year is more important than ever, with an estimated 80,000 deaths caused by influenza in the 2017-2018 season.

From October of 2017 to April of 2018 the amount of people hospitalized and killed by the flu was at an all time high and broke records, its no joke. Because of this heightened concerned, extensive research and testing has been done to alter the vaccine that will fight against the new strand.

One of the reasons the flu is so dangerous is the deaths caused by secondary infections and complications, including pneumonia and inflammation of the heart, brain or muscle tissues. Additionally, a recent study suggests that the flu can increase the risk of having a heart attack.

Children, especially in school like us, are at high risk of catching the flu because we are constantly surrounded by possibly contaminated surfaces and other students. Because of our schools attendance policies and many students wanting to be able to exempt their final exams at the end of the school year, children seem to be more likely to come to school despite having the flu.  

Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle or body aches or fatigue. The flu usually comes on suddenly.

So how do you avoid getting the flu? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests three methods: get vaccinated, wash your hands more often & don’t eat or drink after others, take antiviral medication if your doctor prescribes them.

Not everyone who gets the flu needs to see the doctor. Mild cases can be treated by staying at home, resting and using over the counter medicine to treat aches and fever. If you have severe symptoms or part of a high risk group you should get medical treatment. Once diagnosed the doctor may prescribe antiviral medications.

You don’t have to go to the doctor to get your influenza vaccine. Check with your closest grocery store or pharmacy or visit and more than likely you can find a location that’s both close and fairly inexpensive.

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