By Cheyenne Weber –
The flu season is knocking on the front door of Penn Manor High School.
Influenza, also known as the “flu,” is creeping its way into the halls of Penn Manor.
The flu is a viral infection of the nose, throat and lungs, according to information available in the school health office. The flu is spread from respiratory droplets from one infected person’s respiratory fluids from coughing or sneezing. The flu can come on to someone at anytime. A person could feel fine one minute and have a high fever the next hour, according to health officials. Infants and the elderly are more prone to becoming seriously ill from the flu than other people.
“Yes, we have been seeing students come in with flu like symptoms,” said Anne Butterfield high school nurse.
It’s easier to prevent the flu than to treat the flu, said Butterfield. She said some prevention techniques are frequent hand washing and staying up to date with flu vaccines.
Flu shots are about 80 percent effective in preventing influenza. There can be a few side affects with the flu shot but usually only about 1-2 percent of people have mild flu symptoms the first 24 hours after the shot.
“Get the vaccine,” advised Butterfield. “The flu shot vaccine covers three of the most common strains of flu that’s around.”
Gym equipment is a place germs can be spread because so many students use these facilities.
Trainer Steve Kramer and weight-lifting coach Jon Zajac said they are working very hard to keep the weight room sanitized and to keep the athletes and students healthy.
Zajac said he is wiping the bars down and cleaning the seats and benches in the weight-room and asking students to do the same after they lift.
“There have only been a couple of athletes with flu-like symptoms. I hope it stays that way,” said Kramer.
Many Penn Manor students said they aren’t very afraid of the flu but students may be forgetting how hard the swine flu hit the student body last year.
“(There are) worse things in life to be afraid of,” said junior Connor Hughes.
“It won’t happen to me,” said senior Brian Ramsey.
One Penn Manor student thinks exercising and lifting lowers his chances of getting the flu.
“Lifting and exercise increases your immune system and helps prevent sickness because when you lift you release bad toxins in your body,” said junior Kevin Holton.
According to health officials, some flu symptoms are…
- Fever lasting over 3 days (101 to 103 degrees)
- Ear pain.
- Sinus pain or pressure.
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest discomfort.
- Confusing or difficulty walking
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, Butterfield strongly recommends students stay home. Students who come to school ill with flu-like symptoms should come to the nurse’s office immediately.