Wednesday, 25 April, 2018

With second strain, flu season isn't over yet

CDC warns second wave of flu has begun	 	 	 			The flu season may be winding down but parents of young children have reason to remain watchful CDC warns second wave of flu has begun The flu season may be winding down but parents of young children have reason to remain watchful
Jerome Frank | 29 March, 2018, 02:03

The bulk of this year's deadly flu season was dominated by the H3N2 virus, an influenza A strain that is more severe and less receptive to vaccines than other types of the disease.

According to the CDC's weekly flu reporting, Tennessee is ahead of the curb in getting past the worst of flu season compared to the majority of the country right now - and is one of 18 states reporting the lowest minimal occurrence levels of influenza activity.

The warning of the CDC is related to the effect of influenza B on kids, as the strain tends to be more severe for younger children, according to CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund. It is possible for people who've been sick with one strain of the flu to get a different strain in the same season.

Cases of influenza A (H3N2) have decreased, but cases of influenza B are on the rise. During that week, almost 58 percent of all lab-confirmed cases were caused by the B-strain, according to the report. In Lucas County, the health department reports 15 cases of flu type B last week.

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.

Still, the overall are numbers are not what they were at the flu season's peak around Christmas time or a little after.

Karen Bolly, Director of Infection Prevention for Via Christi says flu season typically lasts from October or November through May.

"We know that illness associated with influenza B can be just as severe as illness associated with influenza A", Nordlund said. Still, for the week, 4,759 specimens tested positive for flu, bringing the season's total to 246,766 positive specimens. "Influenza B especially for young children". That is, until they got the flu.

As of its latest update, the CDC reports that flu-related child deaths are up to 133 for the 2017-2018 flu season.

Nationwide, 2.7 percent of patients visiting their doctors complained of flu-like illness during week 11, just 0.5 percent higher than expected.

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