Flu season starts early

Will Anderson, Staff Reporter

The influenza virus has been around for more than 500 years and people are still being infected, with the first case of the flu in North Texas being reported in early October.

“[The flu started] earlier than usual,” school nurse Jeannie Haines said.

In 2009 there were an estimated 150,000 or more people who died due to the H1N1 influenza virus. This year, there has been at least one reported death in the North Texas area so far this flu season.

Students infected with the flu can be out for three to four days with fevers and several days more with sore throats, coughs and other problems. Flu season usually starts in mid Oct. and goes into May.

“I missed an AP Lang test and another APUSH quiz,” sophomore Jessica Goodrich said.  “Since it’s like the last week of the six weeks I have to do those after school because I have band in the morning and so it’s actually kind of difficult to catch up on things.”

The Influenza virus infects people with symptoms like fevers, coughs, sore throats and even vomiting. Once a person has the flu, they should go to their local physician to have it diagnosed. If a person has the flu, they are usually prescribed a drug called Tamiflu. Tamiflu is licensed to prevent and/or slow the spread of the virus within cells. Tamiflu is prescribed only for influenza type A and B.

“The best way to avoid it is to get a flu shot,” Haines said.