Since the beginning of this year, the Wuhan coronavirus has drawn attention across the globe as the cases in its host country consistently grow day by day. In a short matter of time, the virus has surfaced in multiple countries, including America which presently holds a total of 11 confirmed cases.
Ohioans, in particular, held their breath as two Miami University students were thought to have been tainted with the virus after traveling from China. On Sunday, Feb. 2, university and state health officials held a press conference that was live-streamed for the public. There it was declared that both the students tested negative and so far, there are no other suspected cases in Ohio.
Despite this fact, being health-conscious should remain at the forefront of everyone’s minds as the flu outbreak has caused a particular amount of damage this season.
On Jan. 1, in an interview with Dayton Daily News the Ohio Department of Health showed data detailing how through Dec. 21, there were 117 influenza-related hospitalizations in Montgomery County.
“Influenza is impacting every corner of the state,” said Dr. Mark Hurst, the medical director of the Ohio Department of Health: “it’s been evolving very quickly.”
Later, on Friday, Jan. 31, Centerville made headlines as four schools in the local area closed: Centerville City Schools, East Dayton Christian School, Wenzler Daycare and Learning Center and Wilmington City Schools. In a report with WHIO, it was found that students were increasingly becoming sick. Although the closing only occurred for a day, staff hoped to clean and disinfect the classrooms.
On Feb. 1, when The Washington Post released an article covering both the coronavirus and flu, it gave a specific acknowledgment to Ohio’s Cuyahoga County. The death toll within the region totals to 218 while the hospitalizations stand at 2,500 showing that this is not an issue exclusive to Montgomery County.
Kathy Rowell, a professor at Sinclair teaching in the Sociology department has been ill since Jan. 2. While recovering, she still cannot say she has returned to a full state of health. However, she refrained from stating she has the flu.
“It’s more like a respiratory issue.” Rowell said, “I went to the doctor, but they did not say that I had the flu. But I have more of a respiratory issue that I have never had this long. And I’m still having trouble with congestion.”
Since this semester’s beginning, a sound someone anyone can hear on campus multiple times a day is a cough, showing that many on Sinclair’s campus are under the weather.
“Sinclair did issue a statement about it, but I think that’s really hard to know. So there are probably numerous types of health issues going around,” said Rowell on her thoughts about the matter.
Ultimately, there are multiple ways to stay safe as the flu season continues. One way is the flu shot. Another is consistent handwashing with soap and warm water – carrying hand sanitizer is an appropriate alternative as well. And finally, one of the greatest tactics is simply staying home if you are feeling unwell so others around you are not at risk.