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Flu-related deaths rise to 97 in California this season

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The flu has swept across the U.S. with 97 flu-related deaths in California and five in the Santa Clara County since October of 2017, according to an article by The Mercury News. The severity of the flu season has left some students wondering if SCHS is taking enough action to prevent the spread of the influenza virus.

The strain of the influenza virus that is dominant this season is the H3N2 virus. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, this year’s vaccine is 39 percent effective against all strains of flu and 32 percent effective against H3N2 viruses.

The flu vaccine works by having antibodies to develop in the body to help the immune system fight against infections and can reduce the length and severity of one’s flu symptoms.

SCUSD nurse Karen Keating said that the flu virus is widespread in Santa Clara County. The Santa Clara County Health Department recommends everyone six months and older to receive a flu shot.

“The flu virus is airborne,” Keating said. “So simple precautions that everyone should take are covering your coughs, washing your hands frequently and staying home if sick.”

Junior Andrew Alvarez believes the school is lacking movement towards the prevention of the spread of flu.

“The school isn’t doing anything,” Alvarez said. “Do you see any hand sanitizer or tissues in classes? People should be wiping down the desks.”

Nonetheless, freshman Tessa Sweet disagrees: “The flu is uncomfortable, but I think the school is doing all they can to prevent the spread of it.”

Junior Devin Wong, however, agrees with Alvarez about the school not doing enough to prevent the virus from spreading, but is not sure how effective the actions of the school would be.

“I feel that there is not much that the school can do on a practical sense except encourage and enforce policy,” Wong said. “The school could be doing more, but I am not sure how beneficial their actions would be.”

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The student news site of Santa Clara High School
Flu-related deaths rise to 97 in California this season