Top 5 illnesses plaguing BSM students

Every teenager typically experiences some type of illness during the school year, leading to classrooms full of sneezing students. Although some students enjoy taking the day off and sleeping in, others will endure sickness through the school day. Here are the most common ones plaguing BSM students.

Caroline Appleby, Staff Writer

1. Mononucleosis

Mononucleosis, more commonly known as mono or “the kissing disease,” is typical among high school students. The virus is spread through contact with infected saliva by various ways such as sharing water bottles or chapstick. “Mono is very common among high schoolers, especially this year mono has been very more common than usual,” BSM nurse Sharon Ingalls said.

Symptoms of mono include lethargy, swollen throat, as well as swelling of the spleen and lymph nodes due to the body attempting to fight off the virus. “I don’t really know, a sickness you get. You get a sore throat and it takes a long time takes to recover from,” sophomore Marit Gulbrandson said.

2. Strep Throat

Although strep throat can be easily treated by medication, many dread the annoying throat culture test. Strep throat is caused by Streptococcus, a group A streptococcus bacteria. According to Mayo Clinic, the virus is most common between ages 5 and 15. “I feel like it’s bags in your throat,” senior Bright Rwagatare said.

This illness is highly contagious, but prescribed medication can rid the bacteria and reduce the contagious germs. “Strep throat is one of the most common illnesses among BSM students,” Ms. Ingalls said.

3. Influenza

Commonly known as the flu, this horrible illness is something that no one would wish to bear. Many receive flu shots in the beginning of fall in hopes to prevent this virus. When someone receives this dreaded virus, they are out of commission for at least a week.

How does one know if they have the flu or just a very bad cold? According to FLU.GOV, the flu is generally “worse than the common cold. Symptoms such as fever, body aches, tiredness, and cough are more common and intense with the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose.”

4. Conjunctivitis

Also known as pink eye, conjunctivitis causes one’s eyes to turn pinkish red and be itchy. Pink eye is an infection of the membrane that lines the infected persons eyelid and covers the white part of the eye. This causes to blood vessels to become inflamed causing the pinkish color in the eye. It is highly contagious and must be treated quickly to prevent rapid spread. “It’s gross [and] causes red and itchy eyes,” sophomore Tyler Metz said.

5. Pneumonia

This infection causes inflammation the air sacks in the infected person’s lungs, causing it to be difficult to breath. Common symptoms include coughing with phlegm, fever, chills, and difficulty in breathing, This infection can be deadly, especially to toddlers and elders because their bodies aren’t strong enough to fight off the infection.

Sometimes there is no way to prevent an illnesses, but it’s important to take the steps to prevent it. No one ever likes getting sick, but in the circumstance someone does get an illness, it is crucial to rest and take prescribed medications. Take steps to stay healthy this winter. Eat healthy, get plenty of sleep, and wash your hands.