Influenza sparks controversy at BHS

Abby Finlayson, Entertainment Editor

(PHOTO: C. Withers)
A student visits the trash can during school.

   According to the Centers for Disease Control an Prevention, there have already been 97 reported deaths due to the flu. The 2018 season has been very intense.

   At the start of the season, families go in for their annual vaccination. This is supposed to help your immune system fight off the viral strain.

   However, this year the shot has only been 30 percent effective, according to federal officials. The viral strain is known as H3N2, which does mutate throughout each year.

   In all reality, the flu shot should be around 40 to 60 percent effective, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Each year this center conducts studies to lead the vaccine’s ability to fight off the sickness.

   An article by Scientific American says that over 140 influenza centers in over 110 different countries collect data on past flu viruses. They look at which strains of the virus are spreading and infecting.

   “ I get the flu shot every year, and I never get sick,” says Paige Sloyer, junior, “Maybe I just have a really strong immune system.”

   People all around the world are questioning what the flu shot is actually doing. Some do believe that the vaccine is not helping the population, yet causing other problems within the body.

   An example of this would be the Thalidomide Tragedy. During this time, people were consuming pills which were said to help them sleep at night and prevent nausea. The product was supposed to be safe for pregnant women, yet something else happened.

   As expecting women took these pills, thousands of babies worldwide began to be born with malformed limbs, says Science Museum.

   You can compare this incident to the flu shot. Some believe the vaccine seems to cause the flu, not prevent it.

   However, that is untrue. Flu vaccines contain only inactivated  viruses, the CDC claims. It is impossible to cause infection. Though it doesn’t cause it, many are still getting the flu, or at the least a different strain of it.

   “This flu season has been really,  really bad,” says secretary Jaci Harsch. “But I think it is slowly getting better.”

   The CDC has estimated that about 35.6 million sicknesses each flu season. Out of those millions of people, 16.6 are hospitalized. Then, out of those 16.6 million, 56,000 people are killed by a more serious version of the virus.

   Even if the shot does not work, and you catch the flu, the vaccination could possibly reduce the severity of the symptoms.

   “I got the flu shot last year, and I got super duper sick,” says senior Whitney Wonser. “I am not taking that shot again.”