Flu Epidemic Reaches CV Hallways

Flu Epidemic Reaches CV Hallways
Posted on 02/20/2018
School Nurse Mrs. Dille examines junior Lacey HigginsAna Matovic
Staff Writer

Flu season has reached its peak in time, but this flu season has surpassed previous winter flu seasons based on the number of cases and deaths. This year's flu is especially deadly because it is the strain of
influenza A (predominately H3 viruses) which tends to cause more serious cases, especially among
children and elders.

Unfortunately, this specific subtype makes the vaccine less effective. The flu epidemic has broke out all over the United States, spreading vastly and swiftly throughout the entire country.

The illness has become prominent in Central Pennsylvania and has even spread rapidly throughout our
school district between students and staff. During the brisk winter months, the Cumberland Valley nurses
are experiencing more students coming into their office suffering from flu symptoms than in the previous
years.

“This year is a little different when we look at the flu, we usually see a week towards the beginning of
January where we have a lot of kids coming in with flu symptoms, but this year it was a good two to three
weeks where we were really busy and had a lot of kids sent home from school due to the flu,” school
nurse Jennifer Forsyth said.

Particularly, the nurses have seen the issue of germ spreading among students who are on a sports team
due to the sharing of water bottles, sharing equipment, and close contact among one another.

Forsyth strongly urges those that are suffering from the flu to stay home to avoid spreading it to other students andtheir teachers. She recommends that a student is fever-free for 24 hours without medication before
coming back to school.

“I suffered from the flu this year and it’s especially hard to avoid it when there’s a lot of kids in my
classes who come to school even though they’re sick,” senior Mackenzie Zimmerman said.

“I think it is ultimately the parents’ responsibility to make sure their child stays home to avoid the spreading of the illness.”

In order to stay healthy, students should take even more precautions this year in order to protect themselves from this outbreak. Forsyth suggests avoiding the sharing of utensils, drinks, and her biggest tip is maintaining good hygiene to prevent germs from entering the system.

“The biggest thing is handwashing. I cannot stress the importance of good handwashing especially during
this time of the year,” Mrs. Forsyth said. “It is very crucial to take the necessary precautions to prevent catching the flu because we all know being sick and dealing with an illness is never fun.”

If one is experiencing symptoms, which can include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle
or body aches, headache and fatigue, it could be the flu. The nurses suggest seeing a doctor within 48
hours of developing these symptoms in which they may be able to prescribe antiviral medications to reduce its severity. It is important to note that prevention is the key, so students must be taking care of their bodies and staying sanitary to avoid becoming susceptible to the epidemic.

Stay safe and healthy!
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