18.01.31 Flu Update

February 1, 2018
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Michigan School Shut Down Due To Flu

  • Watervliet, Michigan (small town east of Chicago across Lake Michigan).
  • 33 of 93 students didn’t show up to school on Wednesday.
  • School closed Thursday/Friday.

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“It has been a tough flu season so far this year. And while flu activity is beginning to go down in parts of the country, it remains high for most the U.S., with some areas still rising.”

Dr. Dan Jergian, CDC Conference Call, January 26, 2018

Why “Flu Season”?

November – March

  • No one knows for sure.
  • Some believe flu virus travels better in cold, dry air: New Study.
  • Some disagree & say simply people are in closer contact with each other in the winter.

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  1. Transcript for CDC Update on Flu Activity
    “It has been a tough flu season so far this year. And while flu activity is beginning to go down in parts of the country, it remains high for most the U.S., with some areas still rising. Most people with influenza are being infected with the H3N2 influenza virus. And in seasons where H3N2 is the main cause of influenza, we see more cases, more visits to the doctor, more hospitalizations, and more deaths, especially among older people.”A https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2018/t0126-flu-update-activity.html
  2. Michigan school closed for two days after widespread flu
    Robin McBride, the principal at Grace Christian School, says they closed the school Tuesday, so staff could clean the building. However, on Wednesday, 33 out of 93 students didn’t come to school, so the administration could not call it an official school day. The school now just wants students and teachers to get better, and they have a warning for parents.”Don’t send them to school if they have a fever, even in the last 24 hours. We get parents who they had a fever the night before, they put Tylenol in them, and then they send them to school, said Robin McBride. Don’t do that if they’re coughing. Don’t do that if they’re aching, and they’re stomach hurts. Don’t send them to school because you’re just going to get a call to come pick them up again.A http://www.wndu.com/content/news/Michigan-school-closed-for-two-days-after-widespread-flu-472260673.html
  3. Why do we get the flu most often in the winter? Are viruses more virulent in cold weather?
    The answer as to why flu is a winter disease is not fully known. However, flu is spread largely by droplet (aerosol) infection from individuals with a high viral level in their nasal and throat secretions, sneezing and coughing on anyone close at hand. The aerosol droplets of the “right” size (thought to be about 1.5 micrometers in diameter) remain airborne and are breathed into the nose or lungs of the next victim. Situations in which people are crowded together are more common in cold or wet weather–and so perhaps this contributes to spreading the flu at these times. It is interesting that in equatorial countries, flu occurs throughout the year, but is highest in the monsoon or rainy season.A https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-do-we-get-the-flu-mos/
  4. Study Shows Why the Flu Likes Winter
    Researchers in New York believe they have solved one of the great mysteries ofA the flu: Why does the infection spread primarily in the winter months? The answer, they say, has to do with the virus itself. It is more stable and stays in the air longer when air is cold and dry, the exact conditions for much of the flu season.

by Jenna Lee,