Flu outbreak spreads to Plano, causes panic


Neeka Borourmandi

The flu epidemic has posed a threat to students attempting to get finals exemption. Junior Lauren Shaw portraying the misery of the flu.

Kelsey Reynolds, Feature Editor

    Texas residents have been hit dramatically with the influenza virus that has infected hundreds in just this year.

     The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that nearly 400 people in Dallas County have been hospitalized with the flu since September, which is nearly five times the number of cases during the same period last year.  

  “The most important thing you can do is to stay hydrated,” Veronica Frandsen RN at Star Medical Center said. “There is no medicine to cure the flu, only medicine to suppress symptoms.”

    Recently more students have been staying home with the flu, risking their chances of AP exam exemptions.

    “It’s really scary to think that this is happening here, you don’t expect things like this to  happen where you live,” senior Makayla Casillas said.

     Students are high at risk due to their poor habits such as: not eating a balanced diet, lack of sleep and exposure to those that are highly contagious around them.

    “Our bodies need time to heal, so when students are not getting their full eight hours of sleep, it does not allow their body to fight off the infection,” Plano Senior school nurse Denice Kongs said. “Kids have to stay out of school for more than 24 hours if they have a fever because it has to naturally come down without help from any medicine.”

    Missing more than a day of school can negatively affect students and their workload, in result, extending their time studying at home.

    “At school, I’m always using hand sanitizer and trying to stay away from those who are sick that come to school just because they don’t want to ruin their attendance,” Casillas said.

    To stay safe from the flu, it is most important for students is to be aware to be able of how to protect themselves, examples being: sanitizing their most used belongings, staying away from sick people and washing their hands at school.

    “I don’t have to worry about catching the flu anymore due to the fact that everything in my house gets bleached down by my mom right as it walks through the door,” senior Ethan Ganey said.

   Most parents that have been exposed to this virus before are more than prepared to fight it off at home and at school.

    “The school has sent out a newsletter to parents on preventing the flu, just talking about the precautions you should take like coughing into your elbow and washing your hands,” Kongs said.

    Although the newsletter cannot entirely prevent the flu, families can become aware of what is happening on campus.

    “My mom makes sure we are always washing our hands when we walk through the front door,” Ganey said. “We have to put anything we have on our person on the table so she can bleach them down.”

    The more aware that the community becomes of this virus the more able they will be to fight it off next flu season.

    “There have been more deaths recently due to complications with the flu where young children and elderly are dying of pneumonia,” Frandsen said.

    Although the most common deaths are those of infants or the elderly, anyone with a weak immune system can easily be at fatal risk.

    The CDC states that a total of 30 influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported for the 2017-2018 season.

    The US is not currently experiencing an influenza pandemic but if this pattern sticks, it soon will.