The Green Hope Falcon

Flu Awareness

Emily Grace Muth, 6-year-old

GoFundMe

Emily Grace Muth, 6-year-old

Kaia Patel, Staff Writer

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On Friday, January 26th, Emily Muth, a six-year-old girl from Cary, died from the flu. Showing flu-like symptoms since Tuesday, she died from the virus only three days later on Friday. Emily’s family has created A GoFundMe page to help with covering expenses and coping with her unexpected loss.

Since the beginning of the flu season in October, flu specialists and state officials have said that the virus is stronger than usual and continually getting worse this year. Since October, almost 20,000 people have been hospitalized due to confirmed influenza.The CDC released data on January 26th, reporting that at this point in the flu season, 30 children have already died, compared to the 10 child deaths at this time last season. On February 1st, the North Carolina Division of Public Health reported the total flu death count for this season so far has risen to 95, with this number unfortunately expected to increase.

This season’s flu strain, H3N2, is infamously known as the most malignant strain. It is commonly associated with a notable increase in infections, hospitalizations, and deaths, with the very young and elderly most susceptible. The H3N2 strain is also constantly evolving and has a greater ability to get around people’s immune systems than other viruses.

Although the CDC does not guarantee the flu vaccine will stop someone from getting the flu, the vaccine does lessen the chance that someone catches the virus by 10 to 60 percent. Getting vaccinated against the flu is highly recommended, especially at this time in the season. The more people get vaccinated, the more the spread of the disease throughout the community is able to be curbed notably. Sophomore Anna Dunn said, “That’s heartbreaking that a six-year-old girl died. It makes me want to get a flu shot. I’ve been putting it off for awhile, but I feel that I should get one now.”

To prevent the spread of the flu, be sure to wash your hands, cover your mouth, and avoid touching your mouth and face. Flu-like symptoms include chills, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, a runny/stuffy nose, a cough, sore throat, and a 100 degree or higher fever.

For additional information, the CDC has composed a list of differences in symptoms between the flu and the cold for the public: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/coldflu.htm.

About the Writer
Kaia Patel, Opinion Editor

Meet Kaia Patel. Kaia is a Junior this year. Over summer break she went to New York for
some sightseeing and time with family. She currently runs cross country for the school. When
she is not running, she is usually pretty occupied with her siblings, watching The Office, or
maybe listening to some T. Swift. Her favorite color is light green and she also loves to write for
fun, which is why she decided to join The Falcon. Kaia’s hope for this school year is to simply just
survive her junior year and also make it a good one!

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Flu Awareness