Avoiding the winter blahhs

Maddie DePaoli

M. DePaoli

fluseason-DePaoliDespite the joy and fun times throughout the holidays, you always have to be careful of getting sick amid the hustle and bustle. Especially affecting young children and the elderly is pertussis, or “whooping cough,” as described by it’s long lasting spasmodic sound.

“Cases have gone up in Northern Kentucky, Butler County, and Hamilton County,” Kings HIgh School nurse Eva Garchar said.

Kings requires all students going into the 7th grade to receive a booster shot to prevent them from contracting pertussis, since their older shot will have worn off, Garcher said. These shots last ten years and reduce the odds of getting the cough significantly.

Though there haven’t been any cases reported in the district yet, parents with infants and young children should be aware. Infants are the biggest target for whooping cough and it may be fatal if not treated.

“It’s recommended that women in their third trimester to get a booster shot so the baby can have some immunity to it until they can get their own,” Garchar explained.

According the the Center for Disease Control, early symptoms include a runny nose, low-grade fever, occasional coughing, and apnea (a pause in breathing) for infants. As the disease runs its course symptoms worsen into severe fits of coughing with a whooping sound at the end for infants, and vomiting and exhaustion after those fits. Recovery is gradual and coughing lessons, but fits may still occur. Overall, pertussis lasts about 12 weeks.

“By taking antibiotics for about a week pertussis can easily be treated if you catch it early enough” Garchar says.

There also haven’t been many cases of the flu yet, and it’s not too late to get a flu shot this year. You can find these shots available at CVS, Walgreens, the Little Clinic in Kroger, and many other places for around 30 dollars.

“The shot prevents the top three or four strains of flu that doctors predict that will be the most likely to affect us,” Garchar says

The flu can be prevented by getting a flu shot and of course washing your hands and covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough.

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