Influenza, better known as the flu, is on the rise. Earliest signs of the flu are a series of outbreaks and hospitalizations usually ranging from Oct. to May, with flu activity generally peaking from Dec. to Feb. The CDC cannot usually predict what the season will be like, but they have an overall idea of how to prepare our country with vaccines and other medications. Vaccines are usually available around Oct., and everyone is encouraged to receive one to be protected against this illness. In Valdosta, Rite Aid has already filled ten prescriptions of Tamiflu to both students and teachers.
At Lowndes High School, students and teachers are always in contact with each other whether it is handing in papers, touching doorknobs or even through touching each other’s desks. However, washing hands and using hand sanitizer will kill the germs and not be transferred to other people. Another huge way of prevention would be getting the flu vaccine. This will decrease the number of teachers and students getting sick around the school, and lower the possibility of student absences and getting behind in academics and electives.
“If you or a family member experience symptoms of the flu, it is important to see a physician or healthcare provider within 24-48 hours for the best treatment,“ informed Jessica Raines
Symptoms to look out for include a fever, sore throat, cough, muscle aches, etc. Flu is typically spread from person to person, so try and avoid direct contact with other people who might be developing these symptoms. It is highly contagious and spread through the air with talking, sneezing, and coughing. Again, vaccines are highly recommended for anyone not wanting to develop this respiratory illness. On average between five and twenty percent of the U.S. population get the flu each year.
“We offer the vaccine to prevent minimal outbreak in the school, and because of the easy access,” stated nurses Bowman and Bowen.
Since 2009, the Lowndes County Health Department has offered vaccines to the LHS faculty and students. They started administering vaccines to help reduce school absences which also helps the graduation rate along with passing from one grade to the next. The availability of flu vaccines at LHS have made it easier for many students to actually receive the shot without having to go to an out of school clinic. Already this year, 300 students and 60 faculty members have signed up to receive the flu vaccine, which will be offered at the school on Oct. 27, 2015.