Oh no flu didn’t

Flu affects people across the country in 2017


Ava Colorito, Staff Writer

Many people across the district, county, state or even the country have started off their new year with aches, coughs and congestion rather than good fortune. The influenza virus has traveled across the country and affected over 12,000 people. This recent outbreak has affected attendance in jobs as well as schools across the county.

The flu is spread by means of bodily contact such as touching or kissing someone that is sick. People can also get sick by touching something with the virus and then touching thier nose, mouth or eyes. Once being exposed to the virus, it can take anywhere from 24 hours to four days to set in and show symptoms, with two days being the average. The flu can also start from a common cold and turn into the more serious flu.

Influenza lasts an average of one to two weeks. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest the taking of the anti-viral drugs oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza). These are prescription medications that treat flu symptoms and also shorten the the duration of the illness.

The flu and colds are similar in symptom aspects, but the flu symptoms are often more severe. Also, people who have colds more often suffer “stuffy” and “runny” noses more often than people who have the flu.
As of late January, Pennsylvania was one of seven states that has one of the highest activity levels, along with New York, Oklahoma and Missouri.

In Beaver County, there were 596 professionally-diagnosed cases of influenza and more that were not diagnosed; however, in Allegheny County, there were over 2,238 professionally-diagnosed cases.
Some physicians believe that the recent outbreak will get worse before it gets better, and information provided by the CDC proves that. As of Feb. 11, seven of the 50 states reported regional flu results, while the remaining 43 states reported widespread flu results.

The CDC recommends six things to help prevent the flu. Avoid close contact with people who are sick, stay home when you are sick, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, clean your hands often, avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes and practice other good health habits.

The CDC also recommends keeping up on your influenza vaccine. If or when you get your flu vaccine, go for the shot rather than the nasal spray. The nasal spray was found less effective than the shot and shouldn’t be used in any medical offices in the 2017 year without further testing and trials.

The CDC states that the influenza vaccine prevented an estimated five million flu and flu-associated illnesses. Data shows that two out of five people in the United State reported receiving a flu shot.