Many students at Normal West have already missed a significant amount of school even though the semester is only a couple of weeks old. This is because we are in the midst of flu season.
According to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, flu season is typically within the fall and winter months and tends to peak between December and March. However, flu season can last all of the way through April and May.
There are many symptoms for the flu including a cough, fever, fatigue, and congestion. Other symptoms may also be dehydration, chills, sweating, runny nose, and sneezing.
Junior Hailey Noland had the flu over winter break. “I had a fever and was coughing and had a runny nose in the beginning. It got worse so I went to the doctor and they told me I had the flu,” said Noland.
The flu affects smaller children and babies the most severely. Many babies have to be treated in the hospital so that they can receive care at all times of the day.
Over the last decade 3,500 people have died each year because of the flu. Three flu related deaths have happened this year in Mclean County.
There are ways to treat the flu. The most important is getting additional rest and drinking plenty of liquids. Also, taking over the counter cough or cold medicine could help relieve symptoms. If symptoms are more severe, a flu sufferer can go to the doctor and get prescription flu medicine.
Of course there are also ways to prevent getting the flu. You should wash your hand regularly and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. One common recommendation to prevent the flu would be getting the flu shot before flu season is here.
Nathaniel Oakley (11) shared, “I got the flu shot before winter break and luckily have not gotten the flu this year.” The flu changes every year so you should make sure to get a flu shot every year.
There are also ways to prevent yourself from spreading the flu. Covering your cough or sneezes with a tissue and washing your hands after is a good way to stop the flu from spreading. Also, you should disinfect all surfaces that may carry germs on them regularly.
As we are in the peak of flu season be sure to take all of the steps to prevent yourself from getting and spreading the flu.