The East Vision

Flu sweeps America

Maddie VanGessel, Staff Writer

Got a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue? If you do, you’re most likely coming down with this year’s flu and dealing with all the undesirable symptoms. The flu this year has spread throughout the country and has caused people to take time off of work and miss several days of school. The infection rate reached 7.7 percent, which equals the peak of the 2009 “swine flu” pandemic and is just as bad as any other flu season since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention adopted surveillance methods in the early 2000s.

Schools have closed in 11 different states due to illness this school year. Many students at East Grand Rapids High School have been out due to this, and whether it’s one day or the whole week, it can be pretty hard to be away from school.

“I had the flu for about three days,” Olivia Brown ‘19 said. “It was frustrating because I had to miss school and basketball and so it was a little difficult to catch up on everything once I felt better.”

The hospitalization rate is the highest the C.D.C. has ever recorded. It substantially surpassed that of the lethal 2014-2015 season, during which 710,000 Americans were hospitalized and 56,000 died. Luckily The flu season has already reached its peak and is on the “mend”. The percentage of people with flu symptoms visiting doctors reached 7.7 percent in the first week of February; it dropped by a fraction last week to 7.5 percent. Along with that, nine states in the West and the Rockies are no longer colored bright red on C.D.C. charts for the highest level of flu activity.

Although it has reached its peak and the C.D.C isn’t see as large of numbers anymore there are a few things to do to prevent it. Along with the flu shot, if you wish to get one,  you should wash your hands, keep your hands away from your face, clean communal surfaces after each use, and practice other typical health habits. And for the many people who don’t get the flu shot because they are afraid of needles, there is no need to worry any longer. The nasal spray vaccine which has been off the U.S. market for two years because of inefficiencies, will be back in doctor offices next flu season. The company that makes it, MedImmune, says it has reformulated the vaccine and thinks it will work better next year.

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Flu sweeps America