Flu epidemic causes problems for school attendance

Jennifer Ndulaka

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A highly contagious and dangerous strain of flu paired with an ineffective vaccine has created a dangerous recipe for a flu epidemic this 2018.
Unfortunately, due to an increase in the number of people being affected by influenza, there is a rise in the amount of deaths, especially among the very young and old. Up until the first week of January since flu season started, there was a record of 20 child fatalities attributed to the flu.
According to the Baton Rouge High nurse Patti Marionneaux, “About 2-3 people come in a day reporting flu-like symptoms.” However, there is not a definite amount since most do not report back confirming they had the flu.
In the attendance office, Blankenship reports that “about half of the phone calls are students reporting they have the flu”.
Senior, Darla Shaler, was out of school for a week due to the flu .
Influenza symptoms include fever, fatigue, coughing, sore throat, headaches and body aches. The best protocol to follow to avoid the highly contagious viral infection, healthcare professionals recommend for people to get the flu shot, wash their hands, and avoid those coughing and sneezing.
Any one with the flu should stay home until 24-hours after any fever is gone without the aid of medication, drink lots of fluids, and get lots of rest.
The most dominant flu strain wreaking havoc on many people is the H3N2. According to the CDC, the flu has spread to every state in the United States of America, which hasn’t occurred in nearly 13 years. Tied to the flu there was a recorded 22.7 hospitalizations per 100,000 in the U.S. for the first week of January almost doubling the following week. There has been a shortage in Tamiflu in several hospitals across states including Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge.

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