Influenza outbreak: The worst in years



Influenza is now in full swing across the United States.

Landon DeBoer, Staff Writer

With influenza season in full swing, the rates of those affected and death rates continue to skyrocket. These increasing rates of influenza have been the highest rates recorded in years.

With an influenza virus that begins on the West side of the globe, and travels Eastward across much of the world towards the U.S., an effective treatment is supposed to be created to combat the flu even before it reaches the U.S. If a supposedly effective vaccine has been created to stop the flu, then why are so many still catching the flu this season?

Mutations of the flu virus can cause vaccines, such as this year’s flu vaccine created to stop the flu, to seemingly be ineffective by the time that the flu virus reaches the United States. The flu virus has even affected people in our area, as after the first week of 2018, there were 160 confirmed reports of influenza, and 753 confirmed reports in total for the flu season in South Dakota.

Although the vaccine has not worked as well as planned, many doctors still encourage getting the influenza vaccine. By getting an influenza vaccine, if one does end up catching the flu, the symptoms of the influenza virus will be weakened, making recovery time much faster.

Many doctors also encourage doing simple tasks to combat the spreading of the flu virus. Washing one’s hands regularly, avoiding touching one’s eyes, nose or mouth and staying home if one is sick can help stop the spread of the flu virus.