Our View: When illness strikes, stay home to recover

2018 has been a year of a flu epidemic, killing at least 2,500 adults and 20 children. According to the United States Center for Disease Control, the peak times for “the flu” happen between December and February. Because the flu emerged earlier than usual, it has left health-care systems in a rush to provide care and vaccines to the many that have been affected.

There are many different strains of the flu that are active, but it the strain that is prominent this year is H3N2.

This is what makes these months dangerous is the ability for the flu to spread beyond our perceptual bounds for contamination to those who are most susceptible, including children, elderly people, those with autoimmune diseases and even patients undergoing chemotherapy, among others. Their immune systems are often unequipped to battle the rapidly spreading and morphing strains of the flu that are exchanged from person to person in public places like work and school.

American culture often pushes us to always get things done without haste, causing many to go to work and school sick all the time with the mentality that they are “roughing it” for the good of themselves or their work. While work and school are priorities for many, it is especially important to recognize that this culture should not prevail when the lives of others are on the line.

In the face of a massive epidemic like this year’s flu, we need to hold ourselves accountable for our own health and work to protect those who cannot protect themselves. If you or someone you know is experiencing the symptoms of this year’s flu—high fever, sore, coughing, throat, muscle aches, headache, fatigue, gastrointestinal problems—stay home from work or school to ensure you are healthy so you can protect yourself and those around you.

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