The Dreaded Flu Returns
February 17, 2020
As we begin the new year, we have returned to school, friends, and the much-dreaded flu season. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu has affected between 9.3 to 49 million people a year since 2010. The flu season usually occurs between fall and spring, and the virus lasts for one to two weeks. Symptoms of the flu include headaches, fatigue, muscle aches, fever, coughing, as well as a variety of others. Since it takes approximately two weeks for the flu shot to kick in, there are still precautions one could take to avoid getting the flu.
One way to lessen your chance of getting the flu is to avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes. According to Jack Peat, an author for The Independent, “The average desktop harbors 20,961 germs per square inch and that’s in addition to 3,295 on the keyboard and 1,676 on a mouse and a staggering 25,127 on the phone.” He also reports that desks contain 400 times more germs than a toilet seat. This means that your hands contain a variety of germs based on what you touch at school. As a result, touching your face, especially during flu season, can get you sick extremely quickly.
If there is a student on campus who currently has the flu, it is important to advise them to stay home as the virus can spread easily. Also, if you or someone you know believes that they cannot get the flu since they’ve already had it in the past, it is still important to take precautions. Kirsha Gonzalez, a THS student and HOSA member, states, “Although you cannot get the same virus twice, you can always get another form of the virus. That’s why it is important to take care of your body to maintain a strong immune system, and educate yourself on the virus since different forms of the virus can cause the same physiological symptoms.” Regardless of whether or not a student has had the flu in the past, they can still get the flu which may lead to school absence and a load of missed work. For this reason, it is important to get the flu vaccine every year to prepare your body to fight against the dreaded virus. It is also important to maintain a clean lifestyle to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses.