How the Flu has Impacted our Lives

Emma Galesic, Editor

The flu virus has greatly impacted millions of people worldwide over the years, and it has become a detrimental issue for many people. This virus has been around for centuries and has killed as much as 36,000 people each year! It is a spreading problem that could become even worse.

So, what is the flu virus? That is the question that must be asked first, before getting into the history behind the illness and what you can do to prevent it. The influenza virus(also known as the flu) is a viral respiratory illness and is a microscopic agent that takes over the cells in a person’s body to make them sick. Some regular symptoms of the flu are fever, aches, cold sweats, vomiting, exhaustion, diarrhea, and head aches. The flu is a very contagious illness that causes around 200,000 people to be hospitalized and about 36,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. Flu season is usually in the winter when most outbreaks occur because of the cold. The Flu, also known as Influenza virus, actually means “influence of the cold” in Italian.

Because the flu has been around for years it has a long history about how it originated. It’s original cause was from other animals such as pigs, chickens, and ducks. Domestic animals are also the main causes for many other illnesses along with salmonella and the plague, which occurred hundreds of years ago.The flu virus travels through the air in tiny particles when a person with the virus either coughs, sneezes, or exhales. The flu is always changing, but it is possible to become immune to the sickness if you have had it before and are less likely to catch it again. On the other hand, people with namonia, lung problems, or bad immune systems are more likely to catch the flu. It is also more likely for it to become fatal. 

The worst flu outbreak was the Spanish Flu pandemic and occurred in 1918. It took the lives of as many as 50-100 million people. The difference between this and the outbreak of 2019-2020 is that there are five different types of the flu that are being spread. Along with the flu itself, the most commonly known way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine. The first flu vaccine was invented by Jonas Salk and Tomas Francis in 1938 which protected the U.S. military against the flu during World War II.

Some ways to protect yourself from getting the flu are getting vaccinated, staying away from germs, and having healthy habits. Although, when vaccinated there is still a chance of catching the flu, there is a less chance that it will have a huge impact on your body and become fatal. Keeping up a good personal hygiene is very important as well from protecting your body from nasty germs that could potentially cause the flu. It is good to always wash your hands, stay clean, and stay away from people who are sick. Especially while at school germs pass around really easily. Also, by drinking a lot of water and having good nutrition will boost your immune system to help keep your body healthy.

Over all, the flu is potentially a very dangerous sickness that should be considered when depending on your health. Even though it is common, it can be life threatening. That is why it is important to know it’s cause and how to prevent it from moving further.