The Influenza Season

Back to Article
Back to Article

The Influenza Season

Background on the dreaded flu as well as preventative steps to keep you and your friends flu free

High school is a breeding ground for germs; mass amounts of teenagers are compressed into the building, a cesspool of festering bacteria. A 2014 survey shows that only 49.9% of people from ages six months to seventeen years got their flu shots, compared to the other age groups, it was one of the highest. In 2010, a census discovers that the number of people hospitalized for influenza was between 140-710 thousand.

“The flu’s kind of a generic term for a virus that goes around; there’s all kinds of different strains of it. It can actually be bacterial at times too, but it’s mostly viral,” said school nurse Maureen Rose.

According to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), Virginia’s current activity level for the flu was labeled as “sporadic”, that means a single laboratory within a region confirmed some cases of the flu. Most states in the U.S. have had a constant outbreak of influenza in a single region within a state, excluding Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Massachusetts, who have a widespread level of the virus.

Some theories have been thrown out in the world that vaccines are a potential cause of autism: however, CNN has publicized many articles that disprove this, even going as far as to call it a myth. They say that a Thimerosal, a mercury-based chemical, used to be in most vaccines, but was taken out of most vaccinations (apart from the flu shot), despite it being harmless to those over the age of six months.

Thimerosal was used to preserve and keep vaccines from being contaminated. Studies show that Thimerosal wasn’t linked to causing autism; when, after it was removed from vaccines, autism rates went up. Most people are still worried about the chemical due to its miniscule traces of mercury. Paul Offit, who works at the children’s hospital of Philadelphia as the director of the Vaccination Education Center claims that “you’ll be exposed to ten times more mercury in the water you drink that what you will get in a vaccine”.

Many still don’t believe doctors like Offit, and prefer not to give their children and themselves vaccines. An alternative suggestion would be to ask your doctor for a Thimerosal free vaccine.

The first pandemic was in 1918, the Spanish influenza. The virus took up to forty million lives worldwide. The latest pandemic occurred in 2009; the outbreak of Influenza A H1N1 that started in Mexico, and spread to California and Texas.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has since come up with strains of vaccines to help prevent the spread of Influenza, and ways to keep a person from distributing the germ to fellow friends and family. “After you get your flu shot, then always wash your hands, especially around here. If you touch somebody’s locker, or you touch a door knob, touch anything, just always wash your hands,” said Rose.

Here are a few ways you can start.

  • Wash your hands, or use sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your, eye, nose, and mouth, after encountering people or foreign objects
  • Cough/sneeze into your elbow instead of your hands

Symptoms of the flu include, and are not limited to,

  • Coughing
  • Stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle/body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Sometimes vomiting

Note: all types of influenza cause fever.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email