Health Care

It's Primetime for Influenza B

It's Primetime for Influenza B

"Circulating strains this season, which began in October, were a mix of A viruses, H3N2 and H1N1, and B viruses", Benson said, "There's often a wave of influenza B during seasons when influenza A H3N2 was the predominant virus earlier in the season".

While it's unclear just how widespread this possible second flu wave could be, Influenza B has already claimed lives in Washoe County.

There is Influenza A, and there is Influenza B. According to the CDC, more "B" cases are being reported lately and they can be more severe for younger children. A spokesperson for the CDC told CNN that influenza B can be "just as severe" as influenza A, and that "we also know that influenza B tends to be more severe for younger children".

It's called influenza B, and as the name suggests, is a completely different strain of flu than influenza A. Influenza A is what the majority of cases seen across the country have been.

"But we still are seeing the Influenza B virus still kind of trailing along, lingering along a little bit", Bolly says.

The CDC reports the overall estimated vaccine effectiveness of the 2017-18 seasonal influenza vaccine for preventing medically attended, laboratory-confirmed influenza A virus infection was 36 percent. The report notes that almost 58 percent of all laboratory-confirmed cases of flu were caused by the B strain. New cases of all strains of the flu have decreased.




The CDC notes that influenza B can be every bit as deadly as other strains of the virus.

Unfortunately, if you've already had the flu this season, you're not necessarily out of the woods.

"We still probably have a few more weeks of flu season left to go", Nordlund said.

Still, this second wave is not entirely unexpected, according to Nordlund. That's more than double the total amount of cases from last flu season.

Doctors' offices are preparing for flu season to last longer than normal and could see patients until the end of May and possibly even into June.


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