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WSMS flu cases on the rise

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LeopardLife Parker Post, Managing Editor, with Kaylea Norman and Mathias Alling

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The flu sweeps over North Texas and so far claimed 26 lives with it. The flu may not last long, but the effect on the victims can be long-lasting due to secondary problems that can arise from the flu, such as pneumonia.

 Locally, students continue to be impacted by the flu.  Nearby and local physicians offices said they see an increase and impact of the flu. Lovejoy Pediatrics and the Pediatric Associates of Wylie and Lovejoy Pediatrics have seen a huge wave of kids infected with the flu and flu-like symptoms.

   “From Nov. 1 until now we have seen 1,336 kids with the flu. Most have had Influenza A strain H3N2,” Nicole Lanman, a pediatric doctor, said.

    School Nurse Gretchen Young said she has seen an increase in the number of students out with the flu.

“We are definitely seeing more students out with the flu since the Winter Break.  We are also seeing students with flu and some cases of flu and strep,” Young said.

  According to Dallas Morning News, several schools have been closed and have experienced absences due to this sickness.

Some families are worried about catching the flu and losing time on work or school. They are taking several precautions in order to keep themselves healthy, like cleaning the house and washing hands.

“We have not been affected by the flu yet, but are taking precautions like cleaning the house head to toe,” eighth-grader, Kaysey Taunton, said.

   This season, the state of Texas has faced a combined total of 1,155 deaths from the flu and pneumonia, and the numbers keep rising. In Dallas County alone, there have been 26 deaths according to the most recent count.

“Interesting enough symptoms are pretty much the same for A and B, so you wouldn’t know by symptoms if they have A or B other than the strain that we are seeing now so that’s influenza A type H3N2 which tends to be more aggressive and makes people sicker and more likely to cause people to have secondary infections like pneumonia and to be hospitalized or die from the flu. But the overall symptoms are pretty much the same regardless of if you have one of the Type A’s or one of the Type B’s,” Lanman said.

The flu has not reached the school as much as it has Dallas, only experiencing a few cases with the victims feeling symptoms a few days in advance. Overall, there are fewer flu hosts without a fever as opposed to with a fever. These asymptomatic flu patients don’t realize they have the flu, due to the lack of symptoms in days prior to being diagnosed.  

 “Yes (we have had flu cases), not very many, now most of them who have tested positive who have already had fever, and if you look back at their symptoms they were actually having symptoms a day or two before the fever started, but they weren’t suspective of the flu at that point, so I would say there is a lower number of kids who have no fever with the flu most of them have probably a 101 or more,” Lanman said.

This flu season has lasted longer than usual and could continue for a couple more months. The season normally lasts two to three months, but this year a five-month season is predicted.

“So typically it peaks mid-January to early February, and it’s gone by March. So usually two to three months and this year we started in November seeing the flu, so if it stays true we will be looking at a five-month season,” Lanman said.

Getting the flu can mean that students get behind on valuable working time. Since a person is most likely get sick on the weekends or any day of the week besides Monday they will be out of school for 3-4 days.

“Usually this almost lasts about five to seven days. So depending on when they start to get sick so the average is probably about three to four days of school,” Lanman said.

This long season has taken several lives with it and there’s potential more people can be harmed. Nicole Lanman expects the flu to continue.

“I think there is potential that it is going to get worse before it gets better,” Lanman said.

See related article on Top Tips for Avoiding the Flu, https://leopardlife.net/5332/uncategorized/want-to-keep-the-flu-away-heres-how/

 

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WSMS flu cases on the rise