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HADLEY KATES, Seventh Grade Reporter

Aching muscles, sore throat, headaches, a dry persistent cough, and nasal congestion are all symptoms of a deadly virus. Students need to watch out for these symptoms because they have hospitalized 200,000 people every year. Don’t let one of them be you.

According to Stanford Children’s Health, the influenza virus is a very contagious disease. It can be spread everywhere by sneezing and coughing. The flu can also live on some surfaces like technology, countertops, doorknobs, and books for short periods of time. Making sure that you wash your hands before eating, touching your face, and after you use the bathroom is the key to staying healthy.

Nurse Meghan Stemmerman at Nipher Middle School says that the winter is the most common season for students to be sick. “If I see 35 kids a day, I might send probably two home a day,” she says.

There are three types of the flu, influenza A, B, and C. Influenza A and B cause a widespread illness most winters. People may need to go to the hospital, and there are more deaths. It is the main focus of public health officials to stop the spread of types A and B. They remain problems because the viruses change, causing people to be exposed to new viruses each flu season. Influenza C only causes a mild respiratory sickness, and it does not have as severe of a health impact on the public as influenza A and B.

Mayo Clinic states that, “Getting an influenza vaccine- though not 100% effective -is the best way to prevent misery of the flu and its complications.”