The affluent flourishing flu

Mitchell Stroud, Reporter

The US is now on week eight of increased flu activity this year. The Central of Disease Control predicts this years flu season to last 11 to 13 weeks and with over 195,000 hospitalizations and 114 children deaths, this flu season is on track to set chilling records. The dominant strain this season has been H3N2, the same strain that caused the severe 2015 endemic that hospitalized over 205,000 people. The CDC is only recommending injectable flu vaccines this season, calling into question the efficacy of nasal spray vaccines.

In Oklahoma, there have been 4,119 hospitalizations and 194 deaths and with no doubt will increase with the remaining five weeks of the CDC’s prediction. The Oklahoma County Health Department is offering free flu shots at all of their clinics, for clinic locations click here. Besides a flu shot, washing your hands is still the best way to prevent the spread of any illness.

Common flu symptoms are: fever/chills, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, achiness, headaches, and heavy fatigue. Some children will experience gastrointestinal distress but it is uncommon in adults. People over 65 are at a heightened risk of contracting the flu. The CDC says the flu viruses mainly spread,”By tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze, or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby.”

That being said, if you have the flu, you are contagious from one day before symptoms start to six days after symptoms develop. The best way to overcome the flu is seeing a doctor as soon as you feel like sick. They can prescribe antivirals such as Tamiflu to help alleviate the symptoms and reduce the timeline of contagiousness. Prevention is still the best medicine when it comes to the flu. There is no cure for the flu and medicine can only alleviate the symptoms.

According to Time magazine, this year’s flu is an epidemic, but almost every year meets the criteria required for an epidemic. While this is comforting for some, it also highlights mankind’s weakness against infectious diseases.