Snot filled tissues are overflowing the trash cans around the Ann Richards School as one of the United States’ worst outbreaks of the flu since the Bubonic Plague has begun making its way through the hallways. Due to the 2018 flu student attendance is at an all time low for the year and things only seem to be getting worse. On the flip side, teachers seem to be immune to this year’s H3N2 strain.
“I think getting the flu shot helped,” Library assistant Ms. Carey Mayo said.
AISD does provide teachers with free flu shots at the beginning of the year as a part of their healthcare program. Contrary to popular belief, the flu shot is 60% effective but only towards H1N1 strains and tend to be less promising when it comes to this years H3N2 virus.
“Maybe getting the flu shot and having a minor flu is better in the long run,” Ms. Mayo said.
Ms. Mayo also touched on how her son’s girlfriend – a first grade teacher – was sick the entire first semester of the 2017-2018 school year but now as the second semester has already began she hasn’t been sick once.
“You build up an immunity to it,” Ms. Mayo said. “It’s a superpower with a little booster shot of flu.”
Needless to say, students have had worse experiences with the influenza virus this year.
“Terrifying, absolutely terrifying,” freshmen Lightner Callahan said about this years flu epidemic. “And the side effects are horrible this year… people have died.”
The death toll from the flu in Texas has skyrocketed to a mighty 2,300+ and that number only increases as the flu continues to sweep the nation.
“You know [the death toll] just makes me feel anxious,” Callahan said. “It just shows how quickly the flu can spread.”
Despite the constant warnings sent from the Center for Disease Control about how horrible the flu can be, students still show up to school and that does not settle well with Callahan.
“All of us don’t want to miss our classes, but it’s scary because anyone can get the flu,” Callahan said.
Though a vast majority of flu-infected students have made the decision to stay home, it is still encouraged that students do not return to school unless they feel 100% better.
“Do you want to kill us?” freshmen Sabine Jimenez said. “Think about what’s more important, your schoolwork or yours, and everyone else’s, health.”