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Beware of the Flu

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As the cold January weather is taking a toll of schools, work, and main roads, the frigid cold is also taking another turn for something big: death. This is the time of year where everyone gets sick and then spreads the virus or minor sickness to the person next to them or the person miles away. This is also the time of year where vaccines are up-to-date and needed to do more rounds of the shots in order to stay healthy. For 2018, this has been an issue.

So far in 2018, a huge flu outbreak all across the United States and is stated that this has been the biggest outbreak in thirteen years, says Julia Belluz from Vox. The standard definition of the word “flu” is a viral respiratory disease and it leads to nasty fevers, headaches, coughs, muscle pains, and runny noses that make people miserable in the cold seasons. In the article about why the flu is so bad, Vox stated that the season’s influenza virus is the dreaded H3N2 which is a strain of influenza A that causes health complications and is more difficult to prevent. It basically means that the annual flu shot does not prevent this year’s issues. This year more than 80% of the cases are caused by the H3N2 strain and nationally made over thirteen people every week hospitalized from the strain being so severe. “We’ve had two confirmed cases of Influenza A reported to us,” said the school nurse Mrs. Comoglio.  The flu is really kicking it in gear this year.

On January 6, Los Angeles Times wrote an article concerning about the flu toll in California. Soumya Karlamangla, the writer of the article, said that 27 people under the age of 65 have died of the flu since October. Since the flu has been spreading around California just like any other state in the U.S., the hospitals are trying their best to treat the patients quickly and effectively. The flu has been so bad that the UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica typically treats about 140 patients a day and when the Northridge earthquake hit California, the medical center only had 200 patients. This means that our hospitals are struggling to fit patients in the hospital, and since there are so many patients, a reduced amount of medicine and vaccines to be distributed.

Also in CNN News Dr. William Schaffner stated that the H3N2 seasons are associated with higher death rates as well as lower vaccine effectiveness. Schaffner believes that vaccines may be only 30% for this season. “The usual flu death is a person who gets influenza, gets all  that inflammation in their chest and then has the complication of pneumonia.” This line is the main reason why the H3N2 has caused two tragic deaths of two men of common sickness. One man was from Pittsburgh that died unexpectedly from not feeling well, but it leads him to visit the emergency room to find out that he had a septic shock and multiple organ failures from the form of influenza. Another tragic death was a 51-year-old man that thought he just had a bad cold, but little did he know that he had severe pneumonia and the antibiotics did not help the body react or help to heal, causing the man to die.

These issues have been widespread around the United States and doctors are encouraging parents to keep children away from close contact with a sick person, always wash their hands and sanitize the house, and even though the vaccines are not really affecting everyone,still encourage to get the vaccine to be immune to the flu or the H3N2 strain. “We still have several months with the flu.” Keep being aware!

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3 Comments

3 Responses to “Beware of the Flu”

  1. Clara Licklider on August 27th, 2018 11:21 am

    This story was very informative. I know this was written from a while back, but I am still glad I read it so I can know how dangerous the flu can be. I loved your article and I can’t wait to read many more!

  2. Kady on November 12th, 2018 1:32 pm

    This is a great article! You put good information to inform people about the flu.

  3. alexis prather on March 21st, 2019 2:17 pm

    I had the flu and my mom took me and my brother and sis to the emergency room.

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Lewis Cass High School, Walton, Indiana,
Beware of the Flu