Flu Deaths Rising In America

Taylor White, Mirada Staff

As the new year begins, the flu season continues and is causing serious harm. This flu season has presented new complications. 

The Influenza virus, commonly known as the flu is most commonly developed and spread during the fall and winter months. 

Although the Coronavirus is rapidly spreading the flu has proven over past years that it is far more deadly than the Coronavirus. This is evident through several sources, one being the Mayo Clinic with statistics static that there are reportedly 3 million cases per year of influenza while only 9,709 cases have been reported in China.

Influenza activity often begins to increase in October and November. It is also very common between the months of December and February, but it can last as late as May. For the past eight weeks seasonal flu cases have increased dramatically. 

This current season started in early November instead of mid December. Influenza came to California and the Rocky Mountain states, but was not as much in the Northeast until just recently. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, the flu commonly targets the nose, throat and lungs. Some  common symptoms are fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headaches, and fatigue. 

Some people may also experience muscle pain and cramping. Some people experience the flu throughout their whole body with flushing, loss of appetite, fever, chills, or sweating. Other symptoms can also include nasal congestion, sneezing, runny nose  and possibly, head congestion, chest pressure, swollen lymph nodes, headache, shortness of breath, nausea or sore throat. 

These symptoms are also similar to those of the Coronavirus. The Coronavirus is another popular virus that recently started to spread in early January. The virus first broke out in Wuhan, China from a Seafood and live animal market. 

The break out was from a varied species such as camels, cattle, cats, and rats. The Coronavirus has already taken the life of a total of 170 people mainly from China. The virus has spread to 18 other countries and there have been a combined toll of 98 cases of the Coronavirus in those countries. The virus has been declared as a public health emergency because of how quickly it spread. This emergency was declared by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

The people at a higher risk of contracting the flu are pregnant women, older adults, young children and people with chronic disease or weak immune systems. The CDC reports that so far this season there have been at least 6.4 million influenza illnesses, 55,000 hospitalizations and 2,900 deaths from flu.  

There are ways to prevent getting the flu this season. The most popular way to not get influenza is to get a flu shot, an annual vaccine given through a hypodermic needle in the arm. Seasonal Influenza shots protect against three to four flu viruses that research predicts will be most common during the upcoming season.  

Another way to prevent not receiving the flu is to always wash your hands. Washing your hands is best after using or touching a communal surface. Most surfaces are hosts to bacteria and diseases. Therefore it is best if you wash your hands after using any communal surfaces.

Sophomore Alex Troutt said that he thinks there are benefits to getting an annual flu shot.

“I think that they’re good for people, mostly children since the flu kills so many in the world it’s good for them to be in some way prepared, I have gotten a flu shot before and I do think they are beneficial because if they do in anyway stop the flu from affecting people and spreading then that is a good thing,” said Troutt.  “Also, I just had the flu and it was awful, it was most likely because I missed my flu shot this year.” 

With the evidence of death is becoming more of a reality due to the early beginning of the Influenza seasons and the popular break out of the Coronavirus be sure to stay safe, remain healthy, possibly get a flu vaccine and to check to see if you have symptoms of these viruses.