By EMILY WEIKL
The flu is a very common illness, but it’s also a very lethal one.
According to History. com, a pandemic occurred in 1918 and 1919 that infected 500 million people and took the lives of at least 20 million people. Now, a hundred years later, the u is spreading again.
“All U.S. states but Hawaii continue to report widespread u activity and the number of states experiencing ‘high’ influenza activity increased from 26 plus New York City, to 32 states plus New York City and Puerto Rico,” according to the Centers for Disease Control.
In recent weeks, there have been notable deaths of healthy people from the u, including a 21-year-old
bodybuilder and several children, according to CNN.
“Doctors who study the body’s immune response say there are three main reasons: co-infection with another germ, usually bacteria such as strep; aggravation of existing conditions such as heart disease and asthma; and a so-called cytokine storm, marked by an overwhelming immune system response to infection,” according to NBC.
This year’s H3N2 strain of the u is more resistant to the flu vaccine than previous years. While the u is not necessarily deadly, it can make certain medical conditions worse for both the old and young.
“Contracting the u can lead to a weakened immune system, which can become susceptible to potentially deadly bacterial infections, such as pneumonia,” Time reported. “Influenza can further agitate already existing chronic conditions, particularly among older adults, and can lead to death.”
But there are a few steps one can take to limit the spread of the u, and to avoid from catching it. It is important to get the vaccine first and foremost. It can lessen the symptoms of the flu, and some protection is better than none.
Secondly, make sure to use hand sanitizer or soap often, and strive to stay healthy during the u season, since it would be easier to fight off.
If all else fails, staying home until the fever passes is ideal.
The 2018 flu season will not likely be as destructive as the one 100 years ago, but it’s still important to be vigilant and protect oneself and others.