Flu Season


Thalia Gonzalez, Staff Writer

Every year we go through a horrible flu season, and this year the flu seems to keep getting worse. This virus has sickened millions, and is already the most widespread outbreak since public health authorities began tracking it more than twelve years ago. The flu has already spread to 46 states, and as of mid-December, 106 people have died from this infectious disease.

Dr. Daniel Jernigan from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, “Flu seasons every year are very bad, each year in the United States we have an epidemic of the flu. Clearly, yes, this is an epidemic.” This season is looking to be severe, but does not look like it will be setting any records. Every year, anywhere from 140,000 to 710,000 people in the U.S. go to the hospital because of the flu, and 12,000 to 56,000 people die from it, just depending on the severity.

Influenza ends up keeping people home and in bed for weeks on end. They are miserable because of this one little thing that we are always expecting to come. The flu is not anything new, it has been around for many years, 100 to be exact. Influenza was first discovered in 1918, but not from direct study of humans. While studying animal diseases on a pig, J.S. Koen, a veterinarian, found the disease that is now called the “Spanish” Influenza.

This is why we have developed flu vaccines, but why are people either not getting them or getting them and still getting sick? Some families just don’t get vaccines because they either don’t believe in them or don’t want them. Others always make sure they are caught up with their shots.

I asked the students of AHS if they and their family get their flu shots.

Most people getting sick will say that they have influenza because it’s flu season, but sometimes it’s just the common cold. So how do you know the difference? The cold symptoms can make you feel bad for a few days, where the flu symptoms can make you feel ill for several days or weeks. Having the common cold, you will more than likely have a sore throat that within a few days will go away. The flu can cause severe health problems, some resulting in hospitalizations.

There is no denying that this season is full of the flu, everywhere you look people are getting sick, and it seems to be getting worse. The best things that can be done to keep from getting sick is to make sure to cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, wash your hands, and always make sure not to share your drinks with others.