Cases of the influenza virus are on the rise not only at East, but throughout the nation according to the Center for Disease Control.
East nurse Susan Varner has noticed more students coming into her office with the flu in the past three weeks than she has the whole year combined.
Senior Margot Roberts is one of several students who contracted the flu; she became sick on Jan. 22 and was bedridden the entire week. Her symptoms included a high fever, headache, fatigue and a sore throat.
“It was stressful just thinking about not having stuff done,” Roberts said. “It seems like everyone I know has it. They’re dropping like flies.”
A graph from the Kansas Department of Health indicated that 6 percent of visits to an outpatient desk in January were for influenza-related illnesses, a noticeable increase from last year’s 1.25 percent. On a national scale, the proportion of outpatient visits is at 3.4 percent, above the national baseline of 2.2 percent.
According to Lisa Clough, an Infectious Disease doctor at KU Medical Center, the flu is striking later in the year, instead of the typical December and early January breakout.
ER visits are definitely up,” Clough said. “The flu is seasonal so that’s just the way that the virus works.”
After being in business for over 30 years on the Plaza, Houston’s closed its doors last Tuesday. The restaurant’s owners initially released a statement on Jan. 17 confirming a March 31 closure. However, the date was unexpectedly moved up two months because of contract agreement issues between the Plaza and Houston’s.
“Having seen many changes to the Plaza over the years, we have been proud to serve Kansas City with good food and hospitality,” owners Hillstone Restaurant Group said in a statement. “Despite good faith efforts on both sides, an agreement to extend our tenancy at the Plaza could not be reached with the Lessor.”
After this was announced, the company’s Facebook page was flooded with praise. From “we’re crushed by the news of its closing” to “where will I go for my birthday now?” to “please don’t leave us!” the impact Houston’s had on the community is apparent.
Among the heartbroken customers is senior Allie Libeer. She and her father have a tradition of stopping by Houston’’s after Secret Santa shopping on the Plaza every year. She considers it “their place.”
“It’s so sad because it’s a tradition being broken,” Libeer said. “I hope that we find somewhere else to go.”
The Hillstone Restaurant Group said opening Houston’s in a new location would be a possibility if they found a site with “unique characteristics” that would bring back the well-loved charm of the original.
President Donald Trump has temporarily closed the nation’s borders, signing an executive order that bans immigrants and visa holders in seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S.. The order was signed Jan. 27 and will last for 90 days, with the possibility of more countries being added in the future.
The seven countries include Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan. The Syrian refugee program will also shut down for 120 days. According to Trump, this is all in effort to deter those who could be possible terrorist threats.
“We don’t want them here,” Trump said referring to Islamic terrorists at the order’s signing ceremony. “We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas.”
Junior and Young Democrats Club member Victoria Yedo does not support the executive order and doesn’t think it will prevent terrorism.
“Muslim and terrorist are not synonymous,” Yedo said. “Terrorism does not stem from one religion or country and stopping immigration will not change that.”