Flu season taking its toll

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Hunter Miller

Despite the cots in the nurse's office being empty in this picture, they are often filled by sick students.

Alyson Sudak, Staff Reporter

One of the worst flu seasons in recent memory is taking its toll on both students and staff. More than 30 deaths have been reported in North Texas in recent months and it could get worse as this is the time of year when the flu season usually hits its peak.

“Typically we start seeing occurrences rising December, and generally speaking the highest number have been late January to early March, so we are really starting to gear up now,” school nurse Jeannie Haines said. “What’s interesting is, this year we have started seeing positive flu results early, in October,  so if I was going to give a little guess, with the early presence of flu this year, I think we are we are going to see more than we did last year.”

The flu, or the influenza virus, can be spread from person to person very easily, and causes a number of symptoms.

“It was bad, I couldn’t move because my stomach hurt so bad,” freshman Mikayla Davidson said. “My legs were shaky and I was pale and dizzy.”

There are a number of reasons why people tend to catch the virus during this certain time of year.

“During [the flu] season, everyone is out more–christmas shopping, parties, large groups–so even more contact with other people that might be sick,” Haines said. “The flu is absolutely one of those contagious things that spreads from person to person, so put it all together and it kinda just sets up this scenario.”

It’s a situation that has already led to many absences, and it’s one that could get worse.

“What was interesting to me, it did seem like this year we had more students that weren’t able to finish up their finals, because they were home with the true documented flu,” Haines said. “That’s one of the reasons I kinda have the feeling that this is going to be a hard flu season.”

The testing center has become a busy place due to the absences as students try to make up what they missed because of the virus.

“When they missed school, they have to come back, and in here they have to make up their tests, and stay after school, with tutoring, or before school with their teacher so its become busier here, but thats why we’re here, to help with that,” testing center coordinator Kara Core said. “Over time you forget, and it gets harder, because class has moved on and you have to go back and figure out what to do.”