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Second wave of flu making the rounds

29 March 2018, 02:03 | Lucy Hill

CDC warns of second flu strain across US, child deaths up to 133

Parents of young children have reason to be watchful as flu season ends

According to recent flu season information, the Influenza A virus peaked during late February 2018.

During the week ending March 17, almost 58-percent of all confirmed cases of the flu were caused by the B-strain. 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".

Officials are also warning that it's possible for those who've already been sick with the flu to get hit again, but this time with a different strain later in the season. "We always see some B this year", Eric Zgodzinski Health Commissioner with the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department said. Experts have warned that babies and children are the most vulnerable to the flu, so having them get the flu vaccine from their doctor remains of utmost importance. There were five pediatric deaths reported between March 10 and March 17 related to influenza B, and one related to influenza A. During this week, 2.7 percent of patients visiting a doctor's office complained of flu-like symptoms.

"We know that illness associated with influenza B can be just as severe as illness associated with influenza A", Nordlund said. That's more than double the total amount of cases from last flu season.

Karen Bolly, Director of Infection Prevention for Via Christi says flu season typically lasts from October or November through May. New cases of all strains of the flu have decreased.

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"It's actually a misconception that influenza B isn't as severe or can't be as bad as influenza A", Nordlund said.

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

The CDC says children could be vulnerable to strand B, but Dr.

Nordlund said it's not too late to get a flu vaccine and reminds people to cover their coughs, wash their hands and stay home if they're sick.

She says the flu, regardless if it's the A or B strain, is treated the same way.



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