Flu Season is Here


Karen Portillo

The flu infects 8% of the total population in the U.S., resulting in symptoms such as a fever.

Karen Portillo, Staff Writer

Flu season has started and the CDC is urging individuals to get the vaccine before the end of October. The flu is present year round, but it tends to peak during fall and winter. Every season, 8% of the U.S. population contracts the flu. Last week, the CDC reported that influenza activity has increased in the U.S, and so far 1.7% of hospital visits were related to flu-like symptoms.

The flu is a respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. It is highly contagious and affects the nose, throat, and in extreme cases the lungs. Although some people may confuse the flu with the common cold, symptoms include having a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, and tiredness.

With this illness being highly contagious, it can be spread to others with tiny droplets from coughing, sneezing or talking within reach of the other person. The CID found that children under the age of 5, pregnant women, people over the age of 65, and those with certain medical conditions have a higher chance of coming down with the illness.

The main component of preventing this illness is getting vaccinated. It was reported that receiving the vaccine reduces the chance of being at risk for serious flu symptoms that can cause hospitalization and in worse cases, death. The benefits of getting vaccinated include:

  1. Reducing the risk of getting the flu
  2. Helping people recover faster if they do come down with the flu
  3. Helping protect people around you like your family and friends
  4. Reducing the risk of people dying from the flu. From 2017-2018, around 80,000 people died because of this illness.

Experts recommend individuals six months and older to receive the vaccine. Places such as Publix, CVS pharmacy, Walgreens, Walmart, Costco, Sam’s Club, and Rite Aid offer customers with a free flu shot under most medical plans. Senior, Vanessa Castellano mentioned, “I am getting the flu shot this year. I think it’s something everyone should get because it increases our chances of avoiding the sickness that many often get as the season approaches.”

The medical academy coordinator, Emma Linares stated, “I would go with what the CDC recommends because they continue to recommend people to get it even if they are 50 years of age or older. Personally for me as a nurse, I don’t get the vaccine because if it is made to prevent the flu and people still get infected with it, then why should I? I do believe students at school should get vaccinated just for prevention.”

The flu can be prevented by the flu vaccine. This is an important measure for students to take, because of the environment they are exposed to everyday. Stay safe Chiefs and protect yourself from the flu!