The Flu Outbreak

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The Flu Outbreak

Gabrielle Ott, Journalist

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You might think, “Hey, I got my flu shot. That should keep me protected!” But will it? Washington has been hit by the flu, later than usual.

The flu, short for influenza is a virus that attacks your throat, lungs, and respiratory systems. It is not the same as the stomach flu, that causes diarrhea and vomiting. The virus usually goes away on its own, but sometimes it can be deadly. There is a larger risk of death for children under five, and for adults over sixty-five. At first, the flu may seem like a cold, but it isn’t. Symptoms usually include a fever, sore muscles, headache, dry cough, nasal congestion, and a sore throat.

Recently, Washington citizens have experienced these symptoms when we were hit by the flu. Usually, the flu is winding down by now, but as of March 9th, there were 93 lab-confirmed, statewide deaths from the flu. February is the normal flu season. The flu entered its 21st week on the week of the 22nd. Usually, influenza type A hits first, then type B. But this season, influenza type A/H1N1 circulated first, followed by a large surge of influenza type A/H3N2. The latter causes more hospitalizations and death, and lab-confirmed cases were some of the highest ever. I myself noticed that lots of kids at our school caught the flu, probably due to the fact that it spreads so easily here. In fact, the number of kids at Blaine that got the flu were so high that the school sent an email to all families about the outbreak.

The reason for the late flu is still unknown. The best thing that you can do is to get vaccinated with the flu shot. It works about 60% of the time against 3 of the 4 strains.

Links to the websites I used: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/flu/symptoms-causes/syc-20351719

https://komonews.com/news/local/unusually-late-flu-season-brings-huge-upsurge-in-cases