Fighting the flu


Photo Credit: Nicole Settlow

An empty waiting room for a health professional is a rare sight this flu season.

by Nicole Settlow, Staff Writer

Though influenza symptoms can be detected year-round all throughout the country, the peak month of flu virus activity is February.

The flu is an infectious disease with symptoms ranging from fatigue to high fevers. The severity of the flu depends on each person but it can be picked up on the same way, contact and air.

Ms. Robin Leone, high school nurse, said there are a few common ways to attract the virus. She said that “not washing hands, coughing, sneezing, and touching door knobs” were all main avenues to contrast the virus.

Fifteen cases of influenza in the high school have been reported to the nurses. These students were advised to stay home from school since they are contagious. The school nurse advises students to get the flu vaccine.

The influenza vaccination is offered at pediatricians’ offices. The vaccine is a shot that injects a small amount of the virus, in a weakened state, into one’s system, decreasing the chance of contracting the flu later on.

The vaccine is not always effective, however. It is very important for student to maintain good hygiene in order to stay healthy.

Allison Schlett, a mother in town, took her five children to get the flu shot earlier this year. While the vaccine was successful for three of them, two of her children were still infected by the virus. They were prescribed Tamiflu, a medication used to treat the flu after two days of symptoms.

Schlett’s children came down with symptoms of “fever, achiness, miserable, and crankiness.”

Freshman Alexa Miceli makes sure to get her flu shot each year. Nevertheless, this year she was still infected with the disease, carrying symptoms for a week.

Miceli’s reaction to Tamiflu helped her sinuses and made it easier to breath, but it didn’t do the trick for her upset stomach.

“It made my stomach hurt so much. I wanted to throw up and couldn’t eat anything,” Miceli said.

Since the nurse cannot give diagnoses, after seeing students who are not feeling well, she tells them to go see a doctor to get a final conclusion.