Is the flu keeping you down? Here’s how to prevent it

by Ashley Martin, Reporter

The headlines are screaming “Flu!” This year has been one of the harshest years for the recurring illness, the influenza.  The Washington Post reported in mid-February that that over 88 children have passed away due to the flu this year, and every 68 out 100,00 people have been hospitalized due to the flu.  

Starting January 13, Maryland’s flu activity increased rapidly. This flu season, over 12,400 reported cases resulted in Maryland becoming a high risk state. A large percentage of victims are minors. As a result,  Frederick County Public Schools have increased the amount of times custodians clean and disinfect classrooms, bathrooms, and other areas in the school.

Each year a different flu strain dominates the United States. This flu season H3N2 is the dominant strain and, ironically, the nastiest. Influenza A and B have been circulating the globe, and the flu becomes deadly when both types with the same strain hit the body. This is why when you feel sick, it is best to stay home and safely recover.

Mrs Jennifer Twiford, attendance secretary, said that the attendance rates have decreased a lot due to the flu. The students are struggling to make up the missing time because in high school missing one day is like missing three.

Surprisingly, Jessica Early, the health room technician, has seen a decrease in visits. She said, “Students can just call or text their parents instead of coming to the health room and getting checked on.” Keeping germs away from peers can be a smart approach.

Early said, “ Wash your hands frequently; cover your mouth; and if you are feeling at all sick stay home.” She added that people who are given medication or antibiotics should just stay home and rest to recover fully.

The best prevention is to get vaccinated at the beginning of the season to prevent any illnesses. However, it is not too late to be vaccinated now. This year there is a 40%-60% prevention rate in the U.S., but in Maryland, according to the National Vaccine Program Office, the prevention percentage in this area is only 10- 20%. This causes major problems and increases the chance of spreading the flu, which can cause serious problems if strained with another illness.

Overall this flu season has caused a lot of chaos, so its best for students and the Linganore community to know how to prevent the flu and how to safely recover if the flu has affected you in anyway.