Influenza outbreak impacts attendance

Spring may be fast approaching, yet many students are in the midst of a full-blown flu season.
The flu is described as a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Every year flu season breaks out during the fall and winter months and can continue to infect individuals until May. Influenza activity can break out as early as October or November. This February it has been especially active around Broughton.
An individual who has caught this illness could exemplify a multitude of symptoms that include: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, headaches, fatigue. Some people are unfortunate enough to experience vomiting although this is more common in children than adults.
“Having the flu was definitely not fun. I kinda enjoyed getting to have a break from school and sleeping all the time, but I kissed all of my senior exemptions goodbye because of it,” senior Carson Harvey said.
Experts believe that the flu spreads by germs that are carried when people cough, sneeze, or talk. These germs can land in the mouths and noses of people who are nearby.
Less often, the flu can be contracted from an individual touching a contaminated object or surface and then touching their nose or mouth.
“Some people have been coming to school even though they have the flu, and they are getting other people sick,” junior Tyler Johnson said.
How could students prevent the contagion that is the flu outbreak? If you are sick, stay at home. Individuals that have been infected with the flu are contagious from one day before symptoms show, to seven days after becoming sick.
Flu sufferers who to school are putting others at risk.
Chris Manring, attendance clerk, said that those who are sick should stay away from school until 24 hours after fever symptoms have ceased.
“There are easily 15 people who have checked out of school for illness in the past few weeks,” she said.
Another way to prevent contracting a flu virus, is to take the flu vaccine when available. Since there are tons of strands or flu viruses and they are constantly changing, the composition of flu vaccines for the Unites States is updated annually to match circulating viruses.
The vaccine takes about two weeks to be effective after it has been injected.