During the 2016-2017 flu season, more and more states are reporting higher amounts of cases of different variations of the flu. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting that the flu epidemic is at the largest it has been, in comparison to past years, and the U.S. isn’t even at its peak time yet for the flu.
“I normally don’t get the flu in the winter. It’s more of a spring time thing for me,” commented senior Ann Mariel Bautista Pacada from Baldwin Park High School.
It is hardly difficult to notice the high amount of students on the Baldwin Park High School campus suffering from some sort of flu, cold, or fever.
The predominant strains circulating throughout the country this time around are H3N2, H1N1, and Influenza B, which often signals a severe season that hits the oldest and youngest the hardest.
That’s why the CDC is urging that the most vulnerable, the very young, the elderly, the chronically ill, and pregnant women get their shots before it’s too late. Vaccines can take up to several weeks to produce enough antibodies for maximum protection and protect up to 95% of strains this season. Most years, the vaccine is between 40 percent and 60 percent effective, according to the CDC. In a typical flu season, flu complications send more than 200,000 Americans to the hospital. Death rates linked to flu vary annually, but have gone as high as 49,000 in a year, according to the CDC.
Every state is reporting influenza outbreaks, and it looks worse than last year’s relatively mild season looked at this point, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It has me shopping for coffins,” Louis Flores, another senior at Baldwin Park High School jokingly commented.
This outbreak means that Braves should be protecting themselves and others as much they possible can. This includes washing your hands, covering your mouth with your elbow when you cough or sneeze, and staying at home if you do have the flu. Together, the Braves will be able to minimize the influenza issue at our school as much as possible.