Flu Season: Myths and Realities


Sam Abbott, Writer

It’s that time of year again: flu season. We all hate this time of year — not only is it normally cold, dark, and rainy, it is also the time of year when illness runs amok.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that there have been between  15.4 – 17.8 million Americans reporting flu and/or flu-like illness. There have also been between 184,000 – 221,000 people hospitalized with flu or flu symptoms. There have been between 11,600 – 19,100 flu deaths in the US.

All this has occurred between October 1, 2018 to February 9, 2019. In Georgia alone there have been at least sixty-six people who have died from the flu or flu-complications this flu season.

There are many common myths out there in relation to flu. Some people think that if you get the flu shot, you will get sick with flu. The flu shot does not prevent you from getting the flu, it simply weakens the severity and duration of the virus. Also, the flu shot takes one to two weeks to take full affect, and many patients develop the flu during that incubation period. 

Another myth about the flu is that you don’t need to get the flu vaccine every year. Any doctor you ask will tell you to get your flu shot. The reason for this is that the flu virus mutates every year. There are many, many different strands of the flu virus. 

Here at Cartersville High, Nurse Welch said that we have had twelve students and two staff members who reported they’ve contracted the flu this season. The nurse also stated that this flu season was not nearly as bad as last year’s.

Now this number might seem like a small number, but this does not include staff and students who did not report positive flu tests to the nurse. Numerous teachers report students and students’ parents have indicated they contracted Flu A and/or Flu B this year.