Flu Season Ending but Still Claiming Lives

Flu season is in full swing, but this year has proven more deadly to vulnerable groups than in recent years. There have been unfortunate fatalities from the flu this year, most recently a six-year old girl. Her death, among others, has become the topic of local and national news stations.

According to the Center for Disease Control, since October of 2017, 97 pediatric deaths have been reported. People age five and younger, as well as patients aged sixty-five years and older are at the highest risk of infection from this potentially lethal virus.

According to the Center for Disease Control, symptoms of the flu include hyperventilation, difficulty breathing, a blue tinted skin tone caused by a poor oxygen saturation, constant dehydration and poor orientation, along with lack of comprehension.

Other symptoms include congestion, headaches, muscle pains, nausea, and fatigue.

“Get your flu shot,” said Mary Barden, the Evening Nurse at WCC. “They are available from the health department, your local physician, or many urgent care places like CVS and Walgreens.”

According to Barden, there is a trivalent and a quadrivalent flu vaccine and individuals should consult their doctor to see which one they need.

“Good hand washing is also important and avoid crowds if possible,” Barden said. “It also helps your immune system to eat a nutritious diet.”

If you believe you are not feeling well and may have the flu, you should minimize contact with others as much as possible to limit exposure of the virus to others. Additionally, when travelling it is important that you wear a mask if possible. If symptoms feel or appear as if they are taking a turn for the worse, make sure you schedule an appointment with your primary physician to inquire about antiviral medications.

This flu season has featured the strain H3N2, or Influenza Type A, as the main variety going around. Reports of the strain stretch from Australia to the continental US and Puerto Rico.

The current flu virus vaccine is only proven to be between 40 percent to 60 percent effective, according to Time Magazine. Even as reports are being made that the flu season is coming to an end it’s still recommended to follow proper precautions to stay healthy.

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