Destructive Flu Ushers in the New Year

Joshua Perry, News Editor

Influenza: it’s an enemy that’s never vanquished. When the time comes, people take the necessary precautions to keep themselves healthy: washing hands, avoiding possible contaminants, taking vitamin C, etc. After all, who wants to be cooped up at home with a runny nose?

But this year’s virus is causing more concern over deaths than sniffles.

According to Fortune, over 4,000 people have died from the seasonal flu or pneumonia during the third week of 2018. The CDC’s current director Anne Schuchat said that the situation looks more than bleak.

“This is a difficult season, and we can’t predict how much longer the severe season will last,” she said, according to Fortune. “I wish there was better news, but everything we are looking at is bad news.”

The percentage of children’s doctor visits for the flu has already surpassed the percentage at the end of last season, Fortune said, and the woes of this flu have only just begun.

The Washington Post said that the most prevalent strain has been affecting those over the age of 65 and those with chronic illnesses the most, but the whole outbreak is reaching pandemic proportions.

However, Schuchat said that the situation isn’t that serious–at least, not yet.

“This does not mean we’re having a pandemic,” Schuchat said. “But it is a signal of how very intense the flu season has been. We may be on track to break some recent records.”

Junior Delaney Reed was said she was concerned by the number of recent deaths. She personally gets the flu shot to prevent the worst from happening.

“I think it’s very helpful, and it works–most of the time,” she said. “Even if you do get the flu, it can make the effects of the flu (less severe) than if you did not get the flu shot.”

Junior Kate Henderson agreed; she said that despite the unreliability of the shot, it’s the best option available. She also recommended that people be cognizant about the health of the people around them and do their best to avoid infection.

Good hygiene is important for keeping healthy, Henderson said, and EHS isn’t the cleanest environment for a person worrying about the flu.

“I think it’s gross here. I mean, the tables in the lunchroom are disgusting, people just leave their food around everywhere…I don’t want to get sick,” she said.