This flu season might be the worst it’s been in years! The CDC(Centers for Disease Control) estimates that 9.7 million people have gotten the flu so far this season, which started on September 29. There are 3 different types of flu viruses; A, B, and C. Influenza B is driving the virus this year. The B strain isn’t usually seen at this time of year though, so it was unexpected. It is most common in young children and older adults, so those people have been affected tremendously more.
The flu may have peaked this year. Of the 9.7 million cases of the flu, 6600 have died, 32 of whom were children. And there are more cases and deaths to be expected from until the end of Spring! Doctors highly recommend getting vaccinated to protect yourself from further illness. Though the vaccine this year was made of influenza B strains, they vary so it doesn’t work for everyone. The majority of cases have been of the B virus this season. Lots of healthy people have died in days from the flu or illnesses caused by the flu.
Though the flu is bad enough itself, the effects can be worse. The flu virus can lead to other illnesses that can then result in death. Pneumonia, ear/sinus infections, organ failure, and others are some of those illnesses. All of this happens because your immune system is weakened. If you get the flu and you already have heart problems, asthma, diabetes, obesity, or another existing medical condition, it will most likely get worse. With your body fighting these issues, things like organ failure and even death can occur. More people die from the effects of the flu than the virus itself.
We still have more time to go in this deadly flu season. Be on the lookout for flu-like symptoms and make sure to wash your hands frequently. The last thing you’d want is to be part of the 9.7 million in danger of being in the 6600 that have died. Don’t let the flu sneak up on you! Stay safe and germ-free this season.
Story by Sarah Comer