The Flu Plagues Marriotts Ridge


As the flu spreads rapidly, students at Marriotts Ridge and across the county battle its symptoms. The flu is a common illness that spreads rapidly amongst youth during the fall season. With cases of the flu increasing drastically this year, students at Marriotts Ridge have been significantly impacted.
Many know the flu season to arrive around December and last through March, but it seems that the flu wanted to get a head start this year. Countless students at MRHS were feeling the illness’s wrath this year.
“I was feeling nauseated, chills, I had a headache … cough,” junior Bawi Sung stated.
Sophomore Ryan Burget added, “I had 101 fever, and felt like passing out.”
The Health Room Nurses say they are experiencing multiple reports of students who already have influenza. Nurse Rice shared that, “We are seeing cases much earlier this school year with the first case of flu reported to us in September.”
MRHS is not the only school being affected. A school in Fredericksburg, Virginia had to shut down after 1,000 students got sick. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states, “There have been at least 1,600,000 illnesses, 13,000 hospitalizations, and 730 deaths from flu.”
When illnesses such as the flu are spreading around, plenty of people wonder if the flu shot is even effective. Nurse Rice in the health room highlighted the importance of the flu vaccine.
“While no vaccine is 100% effective, vaccines do provide protection for individuals, their families and community by priming the immune system to mount an effective response and defense against the influenza infection if exposed to the virus. Influenza vaccine is generally considered to reduce the risk of flu illness by 40-60%,” said Nurse Rice.
Although the annual flu vaccine at MRHS has passed, students can still visit doctors, pharmacies or even walk-in clinics like Patient First and receive the annual flu vaccine.
In addition to the vaccine, there are a great deal of ways to prevent yourself from receiving and spreading respiratory viruses to fellow students, staff and the community. This includes washing hands frequently, avoiding touching your nose, eyes and mouth, avoiding individuals who are sick, disinfecting surfaces that have been touched recently and running air ventilation when in an indoor space. According to Nurse Rice, “Individuals infected with influenza are most contagious three to four days after the onset of symptoms. Some individuals harboring increased influenza viral load, may be contagious up to five or seven days after the onset of symptoms.”
Superintendent Dr. Matriano conveyed in his Important Health & Safety Message that students and staff experiencing symptoms from a communicable disease should stay home. So, if the Flu feeling starts to come along, it’s a good idea to stay home and not risk catching the virus. Students should keep in mind the importance to protect themselves in the best, most effective way possible in order for family, other students, and staff to not catch this contagious virus.