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Flu Around The School

Julissa Duenas

Undoubtedly the flu typically starts at the beginning of fall and can end around spring but it can also peak between October and February.  A well known common disease, the flu can cause a mild to severe illness.  Also known as influenza the flu attacks the lungs, nose, and throat.  It can be a high risk for: people with chronic disease, pregnant woman, older people or adults, young children and people with low immune deficiency.  If you fall under the listed people then you are at high risk of getting the flu.  Primarily the flu is treated with fluids and tons of rest. which helps the body fight the infection by itself.

Commonly mistaken illness are the common cold with the flu.  What is the difference?  Symptoms can be relatively similar but in fact they are not.  The common cold is a viral infection that affect the nose and the throat.  In contrast to the flu, the common cold can be caused by many different viruses. it can take around two weeks for it to recover on its own.  Symptoms usually include a runny nose, sneezing, fever, and congestion.  Hence, it can be harmless.  The flu in other words, have a higher fever which can go up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit that can last from 3-5 days.  Unlike the common cold which generally is milder and will only last about a week the flu can be dangerous.  Vomiting can be presenting with the flu and is not associated with the common cold.

There can be different types of flu viruses; influenza A, influenza B and influenza C.  Influenza A and influenza B are what cause seasonal epidemics. a fever is one of the symptoms but not everyone will get a fever when having the flu.  Other known symptoms which some were presented earlier are:

  • Headaches or body aches
  • Vomiting, nausea,possibly have diarrhea, which are mostly common in children
  • A sore throat and a cough
  • Fatigue
  • Chills and shivering
  • Congested or runny nose

It is spread by By airborne respiratory droplets (coughs or sneezes).

By skin-to-skin contact (handshakes or hugs).

By saliva (kissing or shared drinks).

By touching a contaminated surface (blanket, doorknob or possibly contaminated areas ).

How can we treat the flu? Some people would not need medical attention. Most can stay home and avoid contact with other people to prevent it from further spreading but there are available treatments:

Going to a pharmacy and getting a couple of over the counter medication. for example Tylenol. prescription flu drugs which will be provided to you from your physician. certain people are at high risk of serious complications which are not effective for treatment and are only given within a certain amount of time. home remedies can also apply to alleviate symptoms. keeping yourself warm, making chicken soup and lots of rest can help with the flu.

A common argument is vaccines.  Do they work?  Are they effective?  Should we take them or not?  It is a battle between pros and cons.  A vaccine is a substance used to simulate the production of antibiotics that provide immunity against certain diseases in this case influenza but commonly known as the flu.  In some cases being vaccinated can come with some cons, it either does not work or you can still be at a high risk of getting infected with the flu but being vaccinated has its benefits.  It can help reduce the risk of flu associated hospitalization for those that are at higher risks.  It is a preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions.  By taking it, if you are pregnant it can help protect woman before and after pregnancy.  Keeping that in mind, depending on certain circumstances it may differ for everyone.

All things considered, the flu is caused by flu viruses and is easily spread form person to person.  Sometimes people have trouble distinguishing whether they have a cold or the flu.  Symptoms for the cold usually come slowly and are less severe then the symptoms presented with the flu.  Rarely colds can cause fevers or headaches.  Anyone can be affected from the flu. A great way to prevent from getting the flu is by getting a vaccine but of course it can be different for you so it is best to take measures to be able to prevent it.

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