Getting Through the Flu

Spring is approaching and we’re still in the thick of the flu season with countless other students in Darby out sick. Luckily for all of us, there are treatments and some important ways to avoid getting sick.

   People you may seek advice about the flu include your doctor or the school nurse, orand even a science teacher. Betsy Barber is one of the science teachers you can get information from about the flu, especially with her background in teaching microbiology which includes pathology and etiology. These cover the spread of diseases and illnesses such as influenza which many students have come down with.

   “The flu isn’t the same as the stomach ‘flu’, which affects the stomach and causes nausea and vomiting. It’s a viral infection of your respiratory system,” says Barber, a microbiology teacher at Darby. “The flu is caused by a virus.  It is usually spread when people infected with the virus either sneeze or cough and droplets get into the air that are either breathed in or land on others. Less often it is spread by touching the surface of something that someone who is infected had touched.”

   Due to lack of sanitation or precautions around infected surfaces like hand railings, doorknobs, and desks, the flu spreads fast. A range of 29,000,000 to 41,000,000 people in the United States have already been infected with influenza. There have also been upwards of 500,000 hospitalizations and even up to roughly 16,000 to 41,000 deaths out of those cases, according to the CDC as of February 15th of this year. But luckily there is a way to prevent yourself from becoming one of the countless cases.

   “The best thing to do to combat the flu is to get the flu vaccine,” Barber said. “You can still get the flu if you get the vaccine, but your symptoms will most likely be lesser.  If you get the flu, you need to get lots of rest and stay hydrated. Depending on its severity, you may be prescribed an antiviral medication like Tamiflu. But overall, your best bet is getting your yearly flu vaccine.”

   The end of this flu season is on the horizon, so make sure to take care of your health and take precautions. Although, the next round of it may not be too far off.

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