Surviving the Flu Season


The influenza virus is highly contagious and causes a variety of symptoms. Graphic by Diana Rodriguez.

Mary Kelly Prosky Gilbert, Contributing Writer

Flu Season has made its mark on Hingham High School this winter, evident from the fact that many students have been suffering from its symptoms. This outbreak has become more serious and widespread than the 2009 outbreak of the “Swine Flu.”

The recent flu epidemic is worsening by the week, not just at Higham High, but in the rest of the country as well. According to CNN health providers, the flu has spread over every state in the continental United States.

“Six people in my math class were absent because they had the flu,” Freshman Meave Breinzi observed this winter.

Victims experience muscle aching, a rising temperature, and severe fatigue. Patients with preexisting lung problems, especially the very young or old, are at risk of developing a more severe illness which can be life-threatening.

The flu is spread by the victim coughing, sneezing, or talking, which is a primary reason why it becomes present in the school environment. It is strongly recommended that students stay home and rest to make a full recovery.

When talking to freshman Emma Brockwell about the topic, she shared, “A bunch of kids that are sick come to school and share drinks and food with their friends who get their friends sick. They definitely don’t take care of themselves because they are too afraid to miss a day of school or sports.”

This has become a recurring theme in the overall problem of missing school. When absent, falling behind and missing certain academic lessons can become a conflict for many students struggling with the flu.

However, The Center of Disease control and prevention, or CDC, strongly recommends staying home and resting for at least twenty-four hours to make a faster recovery.

Going to school may leave people who are disease-free at risk. Having influenza makes the patient more likely to develop other illnesses like pneumonia from outside sources.

To prevent this, it is also recommended to drink plenty of fluids as dehydration can cause further symptoms. Ice pops are a helpful trick for this. For additional information on treatment, make sure to follow up with a healthcare provider.

At the present time, there are medications, such as Tamiflu, that help treat the symptoms of the virus, if started early. However, the most effective measure is the flu vaccine.

The overall climate in school had also shifted as a result of the outbreak. “When everyone had the flu, everything seemed more dreary,” freshman Aidan Murphy noted in regard to recent weeks.

The sickness affects every aspect of the body, even the emotional state. As a result, school can become a more stressful environment.

Flu victim Abbey Foley revealed some helpful tips on dealing with the virus, “When I had the flu, I ate a lot of soup and popsicles to keep my temperature down. I also slept a lot. I stayed out of school for about three days.”

Abby demonstrates the importance of taking care of the body in order to recuperate and heal. When suffering from the flu, take time off, make a full recovery, and come back to school ready to learn as a healthy member of Hingham High School.