Swine flu scare promotes healthy habits

Amanda Young

By Haleigh Miller, ’12, News Editor

Swine flu has sent shivers down spines and prompted changes to formerly acceptable methods of sneezing in the past few months. Those who normally reuse a tissue are reaching for the hand sanitizer with alarming frequency. Lakota students have been informed that if they have a fever at school, they will be quarantined.

CCDS has had no confirmed cases of the H1N1 flu since early last summer. In June, there was at least one confirmed case. Fortunately, the student in question fully recovered. There have been several suspected cases, but all so far have been false alarms. However, students and teachers alike are still on their guard. School Nurse Diana Wyrick explains how “Seasonal flu season begins…the first week in October…We have seen illness, but…it’s been all types of viral, upper respiratory infections.” She suggests that students maintain a good diet, get enough sleep, and wash hands thoroughly in order to help prevent the spread of disease and continue CCDS’s swine-flu-free streak.

Ms. Wyrick adds, “As far as the swine flu, I think we’re doing a wonderful job as far as good hand-washing and students using good judgment to stay home when they’re ill.” With the swine flu threat now prevalent, keeping sick students home is more important than ever. While taking days off for illness is always encouraged, now more than ever students are loathe to spend their school day around an ill classmate. In addition to the scare factor of swine flu, the ugly symptoms are reason enough to avoid it. They include fever, body aches, headache, runny or stuffy nose, cough, sore throat, fatigue, and chills. Some people may also succumb to vomiting and diarrhea. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), effects can range from mild illness to death.

Ms. Wyrick also recommends, as does the CDC, that students get vaccinated for the seasonal flu in addition to the H1N1 flu, for which a vaccine has begun to be distributed. The H1N1 shot is expected to be widely received and perhaps to run out quickly.

As swine flu becomes the newest frenzy, the question that haunts everybody is “Who’s next?”

Header photo by Ilana Habib.