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The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

Beating the flu season blues: A roadmap to wellness

The AVHS health office, located in the main office, provides aid to students who don’t feel well anytime during the school day. (Jocelyn (Hsin-Chiao) Hsu)

As the month of September comes to an end, the flu once again starts to rear its ugly head. According to ourworldindata.org, influenza kills approximately 400,000 people yearly around the world. Seasonal flu impacts people of all ages, including teachers and students around the Amador campus. 

“So far, I feel like we started off with a really hard hit of the kids being sick. Whether it’s cold or flu or COVID, it’s been sort of surprising compared to last year. In the health office, I’m seeing 35-40 kids a day and a lot of them with fever or vomiting symptoms,” said AVHS health assistant, Pamela Lucero.

Flu shots can be effective in reducing the spread of viruses. Even though vaccines do not completely stop people from getting sick, they give a good amount of protection. Vaccines work by teaching the immune system to fight off infection. It takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop in the body after vaccination. 

“Getting a vaccine doesn’t necessarily stop you from getting the viruses that cause COVID or the flu, but they do help make you less sick if you do get infected. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and California Department of Public Health both recommend that all people aged 6 months and older get the updated COVID vaccine and a flu shot this fall,” said Hannah Mestel, PUSD pandemic services coordinator. 

As the weather gets colder, the chances of getting the flu are comparatively higher due to more time spent indoors. It is recommended to get a flu shot to minimize the effect and level of sickness. 

“A good rule of thumb is to get your flu shot and COVID booster before Halloween. That timing will provide the highest level of protection for the fall and winter months, when COVID and flu levels are highest in the community,” said Mestel

Wearing a mask is another method that allows individuals to protect themselves while protecting others at the same time. 

“It’s also helpful to wear a mask indoors to protect yourself from viruses that cause flu, COVID, and other respiratory illnesses. The California Department of Public Health recommends wearing a mask indoors anytime you’re in a crowded place that may not have great ventilation,” said Mestel

Keeping your surroundings clean, getting vaccines, wearing a mask, and even trying to sleep well can all prevent one from getting the flu. (Jocelyn (Hsin-Chiao) Hsu)

Health is strongly correlated with everyday habits. When individuals are living a healthy lifestyle, the immune system can be the strongest defense of the body. 

“In my opinion, the absolute best thing students can do is to take good care of themselves. Try to eat healthy, get a good amount of sleep, around 7-8 hours, and lower your stress. This strengthens your immune system. When your immune system is strong, you are less likely to be sick,” said Lucero.

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