Preventing the flu will save quite headache

In the last weeks, not only the Cedar Falls community, but the whole country has been dealing with the flu. According to national reports, it reached epidemic proportions with 7.3 percent deaths last week caused by pneumonia and the influenza. Several states have widespread activity level including Iowa, according to Iowa Department of Public Health.

True influenza is primarily a respiratory disease that has main symptoms including headaches, body aches, high fevers and coughs. It is usually of short duration, but for those who don’t take proper care of their bodies, it may last for over a month.

According to CFHS nurse Janet Williams, this year the the percentage of absences from school due to health issues related to the flu got near 5 percent, which is a high rate in comparison with the past years. Holmes Junior High School was more affected, with 18 percent absence due to the flu last week, almost reaching the percentage that would call school off, which is 20 percent.

To follow the student handbook is one of the best ways to prevent the flu spreading. The school suggests that students stay home if they show any symptoms and only come to school after 24 hours without a fever and without taking medicines like Tylenol and/or Ibuprofen, so the risks of contamination decrease.

“One of the hardest things teenagers should do as a prevention is to get proper sleep and nutrition and not smoke. That’s what you can do to make your body stronger,” Williams said. Another way is to get the flu shot or the the flu mist, which early in the season, would be found at doctors’ offices and pharmacies. It is not too late to take them, but as they are produced based on the the previous year, at this point, the availability of the vaccine may be very limited. The real challenge may be to find it.

Once one takes the flu shot, the chances of contamination decrease to about 20 percent. If someone receives the vaccination and still catches the flu, it will most likely be weaker. The costs of the flu shot vary according to each insurance company, but without insurance the dose’s average price is about $30.

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