Deadliest Diseases: The Flu


Kailynn Shaw, Reporter

One of the world’s most common viruses is Influenza. In recent years, influenza has gotten more and more powerful though because of the many different strands there are. Once ill, someone who has it could have one strand, which needs a different antibiotic, “Personally I think that I have seen worse flu seasons than this one so this season wasn’t as bad as then,” Says Nathalie Pena, a sophomore at Richland Northeast.

There are circulating flu strains these flu seasons are a mix of H3N2, H1N1 and B viruses. H1N1 and H3N2 are a type of swine flu and B virus is a herpes virus but, H3N2 leads to more severe illness and more hospitalizations. These 3 types of influenza are the leading virus’ of 2018. The CDC has confirmed that 10,286 new infections from the beginning of the year to February 24th.

Influenza affects people who are kids and elderly the most. This year 67% of people ages 65 and over and 49% of people who are 6 months to 17 years of age, Nurse Lisa Peck, the registered nurse at RNE says, “A significant amount of students at Richland Northeast, who really haven’t had any breaks, have taken some days off and have said to have had the flu or have come down with the flu and had to take some time to take care of themselves,”

\]=Influenza is able to be self-diagnosed, you will feel or have a fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headaches, and fatigue. If you feel these things all you have to do is go to a hospital and get the antibiotics you need or a doctor will minimize the effect the flu is having on you, “When someone usually comes in here and has a fever over 100 [degrees], then I am required to send them home and send them to go get tested as well,” Says Peck

Many people who cannot get the time off work or school, but are still able to function normally usually wear masks to keep the flu from spreading from them to others.

This year alone 56,000 people have died because of not getting proper care, but most people do not know that the estimate of deaths is in the thousands, “I believe that these people died from the flu just because they didn’t know they had it, they didn’t properly take care of themselves, or they didn’t get the shot,” Says Pena