Worst Flu Season Yet



Jazmyne Boone, Writer

The flu season of 2017/2018 has been the worst yet, since the spread of swine flu in 2009. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , flu season generally starts around October and can go on for months on end, but it usually comes to an end in May. The peak, however, starts in December or January, and continues on from there for a few weeks. This is the time where it tends to be the worst.

In a press release, Dan Jernigan from the Influenza Division of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases said, “It has been a tough flu season so far this year.” Just this season, 37 children in the United States have died from the flu. Although these deaths have been of children, the flu is beginning to hit people from age 50 and up even harder than kids. This is because the flu can worsen pre-existing health conditions that can lead to serious complications.  

The CDC reported that around 60,000 samples were tested positive for influenza and the hospitalization rate is 22.7 people per 100,000 residents. After someone has had the flu, their immune system is weakened and vulnerable to receiving bacterial infections that can result in serious diseases or death.

To avoid getting the flu, it would have been best to get vaccinated in October of 2017, but getting vaccinated sometime up to January will still be beneficial to one’s health. Getting the flu shot can protect against influenza B, which is expected to come more in the later half of the season. The other most effective way to prevent getting the flu this season is to stay home if you are not feeling good so that it does not spread to others at school or work. It is also important to constantly wash your hands and cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.