DHS and the terrible, no good, very bad flu

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Havens Webster, Reporter

Colorado has had 3,550 flu hospitalizations this season, which is a new high record. The strain of this influenza is very dangerous and affecting many people, and is still ongoing.

The virus, H3N2, has affected many people, especially the children and elderly. Colorado is among the few states in the U.S. that has been hit especially hard by this virus putting many people in the hospital.  

“ This year there have been 67 flu hospitalizations, and the season isn’t over,” said  Penny Hill, an Infection Control/Health Manager employee of the San Juan Regional Medical Center.

The new strain of the flu virus known as Influenza A, H3N2, is affecting many people, but with the vaccination, it can reduce the severity of the disease. It has hospitalized 3,550 people, with one pediatric death.

“About one or two kids a day show up here with symptoms of the flu,” said Adeline Bryant, the school nurse at Durango High School.

We are over the peak in this years flu virus, but that doesn’t mean the battle is over. This years strain was worse than others because scientists tried to predict what the vaccination should be like, but their guesses were unfortunately incorrect.

“This flu influenza hit a lot harder than past ones, and has more variety that the vaccine doesn’t cover,” said DHS biology teacher, Sarah Nashleanas.

The flu sickness comes around every year and affects many people that can’t help being affected. This virus has extensive varieties that are hard to detect and cure. Many people this year haven’t gotten the flu shot, but most of the percentage of affected people are children and the elderly.

“The reason for virus’ getting worse and worse is evolution,” said Nashleanas.

The virus develops new immunities each year from the previous vaccinations, which is why it changes every year into a new hybrid. Scientists are trying to create a vaccine that will be more a a large scale coverage of the virus, which will be more efficient.

According to the Center for Disease Control,“One in 10 Americans who have died in the past week died from flu or pneumonia.”

The flu vaccine is made from a dead strain of the flu virus then mixed with egg whites to get the final product. So far this year, the flu vaccine has only shown about 60% effectiveness at its best, and it’s only reduces and the severity of the symptoms.

“People with the flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away,” according to the CDC.

For about eight days with the start of the sickness the 7 days after that, you are highly contagious, even if you don’t show symptoms.  You spread the virus by touching surfaces and infecting them or coughing/sneezing everywhere, so the best way to prevent this is to stay home and stay clean.