A student hurries from the outside towards the large glass doors of the school’s front entrance. Their arms wrapped tightly around their abdomen as their breath shows like mist before them.They cover their hand with their sweater to touch the steel handle for the door and push inside. They are, for a second, embraced by the overly, stifling warm interior but quickly begin to shiver again. They walk through the rotunda and sniffle, their mucus running back into their throat and the sound reverberating around the dome. They look down and away from the assistant principals quizzical glance as they have their breath punched out of them with dry coughs. It’s flu season.
“Kids should not come to school sick because it perpetuates it,” said school nurse Janna Gremillion. “Do you want to come to school and sit next to someone who has the flu or who has a fever of 102°? No, nobody does.”
The flu season this year is predicted to be a very active and bad season. There are multiple warning signs, and many people are coming out to testify that the season will likely be bad. The Southern Hemisphere was greatly affected by the flu season this year. The flu virus is from the strain of H3N2, the worse of the two strains that cause the annual flu epidemics. Student and teacher alike will have to take precautions this year.
“Students go through the building, touch the handrails, the doorknobs, then people will come behind them and touch too, and that’s how it perpetuates and spreads,” said Gremillion.
Some general health tips for avoiding contracting the flu are to avoid those with it, regularly clean your hands, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth and to have good hygienic practices.
Flu shots are heavily encouraged in order to avoid contracting the flu. The school offers free flu shots to all school employees. However, there has been recent studies done finding that it may be a bad thing to get the flu shot every year. It’s been found that getting the shot year after successive years actually decreases its potency and may render it nearly useless. If the flu is contracted, Tamiflu may be used to decrease how long one has the flu. It, on average, takes two days to begin working, but must be used within two days of symptoms showing up.