The Flu outbreak in the U.S. is very widespread and has yet to peak despite starting in October. Over 30 deaths have been reported this season; many of them have been children.
“Sometimes people are more susceptible to the flu than others,” Lamar nurse Vicki Stephens said. “The main prevention is to get the flu vaccine and wash your hands often.”
Many of the deaths reported in the news occured when the symptoms either weren’t recognized or not taken seriously.
“One thing to differentiate the flu and a common cold is that the flu is more sudden,” Stephens said. “You feel really bad really fast.”
Six-year-old Emily Muth died this week in North Carolina after experiencing severe symptoms of Influenza. Emily’s mother, Rhonda Muth, said that the paramedics told her that Emily’s breathing difficulties were common, and the ambulance was sent back. They were called again after symptoms worsened, but it was too late to save her. A single mother in Oregon died just two days after being diagnosed with the Flu. She had mild symptoms, and doctors told her to go home and rest. Things only got worse and she returned hours later with severe symptoms, and was eventually put on life support.
“Hopefully people are starting to pay attention to the news and seeing they should stay home,” Stephens said. “We’ve had students with the flu and the attendance offices have many students calling in.”
According to Stephens, the flu hasn’t taken a huge toll on Lamar, or AISD in general. Many students have been recognizing the symptoms, and some are just at a higher risk than others, especially with the availability of vaccines at local pharmacies.
Common symptoms of the flu include a fever, muscle aches, chills, coughing, runny/stuffy nose, sore throat, headaches, and vomiting (though more common in children). If you have these symptoms, see a doctor right away, drink lots of water, and get plenty of rest.