Stop worrying about Coronavirus. Worry about the flu. 


SKYE JACKSON, Staff Writer

Unless you live under a rock,  chances are you have heard about the Coronavirus. But your real concern should be preventing the flu. 

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause disease in all mammals. In people, the virus causes respiratory infections which are usually mild.  Coronaviruses are spread to humans by animals, and they can be spread to other people by coughing and sneezing, similar to the flu but with respiratory problems also. This strain of the Coronavirus is called Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

More than 6,000 cases of this virus have broken out, originating in Wuhan, China. Officials think it started in an animal market and was transferred to a person. Wuhan and the twelve surrounding counties have been quarantined, and their schools have been cancelled for three weeks.

There have been eleven cases in the United States so far. That has caused what may be an unnecessary alarm. 

“Right now, you’re probably more likely to be catching flu than you are to be getting coronavirus,” said Devi Sridhar, chair in global public health at the University of Edinburgh.

This flu season, there have been 8,200 deaths in the United States and 20,000 deaths nationwide. 

In fact, many students at GHS have been stricken with the flu in recent days. 

“Based on the amount of fevers, coughs and sore throats, I feel this year is worse than others,” said GHS school nurse Leora Ulrich. 

Between Monday and Wednesday last week there were 12 students dismissed due to illness, the highest amount this school year. 

The flu is transmitted by coughing and sneezing. Remember the flu is more deadly than the Coronavirus is. 

Here are ways to prevent spreading and getting the flu:

  1. Get a flu shot every year
  2. Wash your hands
  3. Use hand sanitizer
  4. Do NOT touch sick people
  5. Stay home if you have flu like symptoms
  6. Cover your nose when sneezing (with your elbow, not your hand)
  7. Cover your mouth when coughing (with your elbow, not your hand)
  8. Do not put your hands near your eyes or mouth unless they are clean
  9. Disinfect surfaces
  10. Eat healthy
  11. Get a lot of rest