By Celine E. Gimpirea Crimson Chronicle Reporter
This year’s influenza has spread to every state, hospitalizing over 9,000 people and specifically targeting children.
Intensifying, the H3N2 virus originates from Australia but has spread to numerous foreign countries, believed to be contracted from animals. Because viruses, both A and B types manifest themselves most agressively in the hosts of weak immune systems, its deadliest attack has been, thus far, on children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 30 kids have been reported dead and many others have been hospitalized since Oct. 2017. The latest flu shot, though highly recommended, promises only 30% efficiency.
Historically, the H3N2 virus and its cousins have been known to cause pandemics, including the 2009 “swine flu”, which killed over 203,000 people. However, they are rare in occurance, which does not allow people a strong immunity to them, making them all the more dangerous. Additionally, having no defense against it, people are more susceptible to it.
Symptoms (of severe manifestations) include:
- Body Aches
- Fever (100 or higher)
- Sore Throat
- Minor Congestion
- Vomiting and Diarrhea
Even though the symptoms are clear, the cure is not. “I am very paranoid,” says Hollywood High Junior Arman Tovmasyan. “If we don’t do something about it now, I don’t how far it’ll go.”
Doctors recommend immediate vaccination and hospitalization if any of the symptoms above develop, while researchers still scramble to find a cure for the sprouting pandemic.