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Out with The Old, In with The Flu!

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Many are familiar with the occasional bouts of flu – in fact, it seems like every year people have become accustomed to their annual case of influenza. Oftentimes, children are chided with reminders of the “season” and a pump of hand sanitizer and are cautioned away from excessively spreading germs. However, this year seems to be a particularly nasty case; when an arduous number of students are missing school this early in the semester, it’s bound to be an unfortunate obstacle – but this is no mere nuisance. Instead, this strain, nicknamed the “Aussie Flu”, is both violent and – in some cases – deadly.

The Center for Disease Control reported the Aussie Flu (H3N2) has been around since the beginning of October, but as of mid-December, it began to consistently keep the trend of 100 deaths a week in the United States. The epidemic has caused schools to close from Alabama to Texas in recent months. 

Still, doctors (particularly pediatricians) attempt to assuage unnecessary fears from patients and parents alike. In an interview with ABC, Dr. Joshua Schaffzin, pediatric infectious diseases physician and director of infection, prevention and control at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, says, “What they are is they’re extremely uncommon… For the most part, knowing what you know about [yourself], keeping your eye open for things that don’t seem right and having a conversation with your doctor will keep you ready if something happens.”

For now, the best thing to do is remain cautious: sanitize regularly, avoid unnecessary contact with objects that might be able to spread germs, and use face masks when they are

offered. Although this strain of flu is serious in some cases, it’s nothing to panic about! Stay healthy – and for those who are already sick, get well soon!

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Out with The Old, In with The Flu!