With second strain, flu season isn't over yet

With second strain, flu season isn't over yet

"Now the fact that we may be having a second peak of influenza B means we have a little more time to have to deal with it", said Dr. Romig.

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.

"We often see a wave of influenza B during seasons when influenza A H3N2 was the predominant virus earlier in the season". "Based on some research the CDC has done, both flu viruses can cause severe illness".

While flu season is winding down, a separate strain is now being reported more frequently.

CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund explained to CNN that parents with younger children should continue their vigilance.

"Illness associated with influenza B can be just as severe as illness associated with influenza A and influenza B is usually worse for younger children", Nordlund said.

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If you are already vaccinated for influenza A, there is no need to get a separate vaccination for influenza B. But if you think you have the flu, check with your doctor for any concerns.

Fortunately, administrators said Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital is not seeing too many flu patients so far, and IU Health leaders said it prepares for second waves every year.

She says the flu, regardless if it's the A or B strain, is treated the same way. But while we have weathered yet another year against a microscopic enemy which constantly threatens to evolve beyond our ability to inhibit with vaccination, the CDC says we are not out of the woods just yet.

The CDC reported five additional flu-related pediatric deaths during week 11.

Two children in Virginia died from flu related complications this year. This rate is only slightly higher than the 7.4 percent threshold that had been anticipated for the week.

Overall, fewer people are going to see a doctor for the flu than during the height of the season at the beginning of February.

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