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The Science of the Flu

Sick boy with thermometer laying in bed and mother hand taking temperature. Mother checking temperature of her sick son who has thermometer in his mouth. Sick child with fever and illness while resting in bed.
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Sick boy with thermometer laying in bed and mother hand taking temperature. Mother checking temperature of her sick son who has thermometer in his mouth. Sick child with fever and illness while resting in bed.

During the great holiday season, people can feel a mix of joy, excitement, and, sadly, sickness. The changing of seasons highlights the temperature change that everyone must deal with as it’s colder and darker. During this time, the rise of sickness is near, and many people fall victim to it every year. Everyone can experience the early symptoms, ranging from a slight headache to sneezing, but it eventually grows into a cold, or more prominently, the flu.

The flu, also known as influenza, was originally conceived from infections in animals like pigs and birds. Depending on the strand itself, the disease can transfer from human to human or even from animal to human. The consumption or beginning of the flu typically occurs within your respiratory nose cells. The takeover occurring within your nose is done by the specific molecule known as hemagglutinin, which can be related to strains of flu known as H1N1 and H3N2. The other molecule responsible for such corruption is neuraminidase. Such combinations of these molecules allow for different strains to occur, and the strains themselves are always changing, like many other viruses popular in our modern medical world. Now, with the Flu vaccine, the virus itself can be regulated and not spread as viciously in past epidemics; to date, the most recent one was in 2009.

It is extremely important to know when coming down with the flu, as it may be confused with other viral diseases. If anyone you know has symptoms like cough, dry throat, fever, etc., it is possible to consider that that person may be suffering from the flu. It is always better for you to protect yourself against such diseases to prevent such symptoms from occurring and save your body from as many infections as possible. This can be done by simply obtaining your annual flu shot. Will this stop the flu from entering your body at all? Will it 100% guarantee you do not get the flu? No, the vaccines developed protect people from the flu’s severe conditions and symptoms that may develop. The purpose of the vaccine is to help or aid your body when attacked by disease and deter any other weakening factors.

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Maggie Stavrinadis, Junior Editor, STEM editor
Maggie Stavrinadis is a junior in Lindenhurst High School and a lot has changed since the first time she wrote for this paper in her freshman year. Over the course of the last two years, Maggie has achieved two years of JV within the Lindenhurst Soccer and Basketball programs and was also a captain in her last season of basketball last winter. She has persisted in her love of writing, whether it was through the club or through the journalism class. She is now one of two Junior Editors here at the Charles Street Times and is the STEM Editor for the paper as well. Writing has been a maintained goal within her chosen courses and still has aspirations for being a co-editor within her senior year. Maggie has also experienced so many new things outside of LHS. Through this last summer Maggie has acquired a boating license, a spot on the Lindenhurst Varsity Soccer team for this fall season, and her first job at one of her favorite spots, the beach. She has learned so much from the past two years, which she believes will help her in taking on her tasks over the next year with our very own newspaper. Finally, Maggie also runs one of the known fundraisers within LHS and would like to promote the fundraiser as much as possible. 
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