By: Jonathan Perella
Influenza (more commonly known as “the flu”) is a virus that spreads from person to person. Likewise, the Flu season comes annually, but most people get through it with no issues. The reason why is a large percentage of the population will get their flu shots while few will not. This year, it is a very different situation.
The Flu has hit hard this season causing many people to become very sick and resulting in a larger number of deaths. This year’s flu has been hospitalizing Americans at an alarming rate which is a huge cause for concern. USA Today reports that this flu season is “the worst in nearly a decade” and it is present in about 48 states at a high-risk rate. The last major flu season like this one was when the Swine flu ravished Americans in 2009. The flu is affecting both children and adults but is more alarming for kids, as reported by USA Today so far, 63 children have died from this year’s flu, and doctors, unfortunately, are expecting more as the flu continues in the coming weeks.
Medical professionals also have stated that the flu may not have hit its peak, yet which creates even more of a scare for Americans. In an article by the Washington Post, they stated that we are currently in week 11 flu season and on average, flu season lasts about 16 weeks. Knowing that this flu season may not have hit its peak yet has created a panic nationwide. According to the Washington Post, there are two major strands of influenza this season. There is H3N2, which is a type of influenza A and there is also Influenza B.
Influenza A is more prevalent and has affected more people than B, but B may be on the rise. Doctors typically will prescribe patients Tami-Flu. There are other medications, but Tami-Flu is the most popular and tends to work the best. This season’s flu is also creating cause for concern in schools and college campuses as there is a higher chance for it to spread quickly where people gather and live near.
Here at Bryant, Health Services is making the flu a high priority. Health Services is reporting that they are so swamped with students coming in to get checked they didn’t even have the time to answer my flu-related questions. Also, professors are asking that if you have the flu, to not come to class to get better and to not infect anyone else. Most college campuses are also now offering flu shots to prevent more students from being infected with the flu. As we all know, living tight quarters can also allow the sickness to spread extremely fast. We all have direct roommates we live with and any sickness you have, if you’re not careful, could easily be passed to your roommate.
Anyone who gets the flu on campus should go home if possible. Make sure to report any symptoms you have, as well as wash your hands and door handles in your rooms as much as possible.