Achoo! Here Comes Flu Season.

Myla Rogers, Staff

Even though Summer is not officially over, people are feeling the overall effects of the flu epidemic. Flu activity usually occurs from October to May. However, according to the Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network, one to two percent of patients will the flu symptoms visit in the first week of September. 

The flu, also called influenza, is a common viral infection that can be deadly, especially in high-risk groups. It affects the nose, throat and sometimes the lungs. School nurse Laura Foreman says the treatment works best within the first 24 hours..

“Antibiotics are not usually prescribed for the flu,” Foreman says. “However, there is an antiviral shot that you can take for the flu. Flu shots are most effective when you first experience flu symptoms.” 

Most people who get sick have a mild case of the flu, will not need medical care and recover within two weeks. Other people are more likely to contract the flu complications that can result in hospitalization or even death.

“People won’t realize that they have the flu symptoms until 48 hours later,” Foreman says. “By that time it is too late, and the virus has worsened. Doctors can treat it with Tamiflu, but it requires sufferers taking it more often than just getting the vaccine. Thirty-seven people in Oklahoma have already died from the flu.”

Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections are examples of the flu-related complications. There are four types of the flu: Type A, B, C, and D. The most common types are A and B

“They are the types that are responsible for the epidemic each influenza season.” Foreman says.

The best way to avoid the flu is to obtain a yearly flu vaccine, wash your hands thoroughly and wipe contact surfaces before and after use with hot, soapy water or Clorox wipes.