By Lauren Hillegas
H3N2 hit the East Coast with a vengeance this winter, and young people are the most susceptible to this strain of flu.
Penn Manor High School was just one of many schools that was hit hard by the flu epidemic this winter. Numerous students and faculty members were victims of the 2013 H3N2 strain.
“I’ve seen at least 30-40 students with flu-like symptoms within a time period of three weeks,” said Mrs. Ann Butterfield, nurse at Penn Manor.
Junior Alexis Cunningham said that she missed one week of school and had the flu for a total of 12 days.
“It was the week before finals, so I had to cram all the work I missed and studying together,” said Cunningham.
Commonly reported symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, sore throat, dry cough and body aches. And this latest flu epidemic had many students missing school at a vital time of the year — Keystone testing, final exams and the beginning of a new semester.
According to Mrs. Butterfield, preventing sickness and staying well is imperative.
“A flu vaccine, coughing into your elbow, not touching your face and frequent hand washing are excellent prevention steps that anyone can take to stay well.”
However, for those students who fall victim to the H3N2, Mrs. Butterfield has advice that will hopefully aid in the recovery from their ailments.
“Drink plenty of fluids, get a lot of rest and tell a doctor.”
She adds that it can take up to two weeks for one to recover from the illness, but they will continue to experience phases of tiredness.
As the height of the reported H3N2 cases start to dwindle here on the East Coast, as well as in Lancaster County and throughout the Penn Manor community, the flu still continues to be prevalent.