Health Care

'Rough' flu season winding down, but it's not completely over

'Rough' flu season winding down, but it's not completely over”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the influenza B virus is making the rounds across the country.

Even at its peak, Flu B has seen less than half the total level of activity compared to Flu A - which is typical for most flu seasons.

While the CDC notes overall cases of the flu are dropping, cases of Influenza B are on the rise.

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's probably one of the more severe years we've had in the past few decades", Haupt said.

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The CDC estimates that nearly 60% of recent flu cases have been caused by the "B" virus.

Taking antiviral drugs when prescribed. Chalkley says, "Some of our [23] deaths have been attributable to Influenza A while others have been attributable to Influenza B".

"We are now seeing about 60 percent of the flus are influenza B, so this is actually a good sign that we are toward the end".

CDC continues to recommend influenza vaccination while influenza viruses are circulating in the community; several more weeks of influenza activity are likely.

We may see a smaller second wave of B than in past seasons, but "we won't know until we have more data", Nordlund said.

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Almost a quarter-million people have been confirmed as flu victims this year, and 133 children have already perished in the 2017-2018 season alone.

"Well, you can't really say, this strain causes this and this other strain causes other symptom", said Tammy Koonce, a nurse with the Guilford County Health Department, "It seems to be flu symptoms are just flu symptoms". It is still not too late to get a flu shot, especially with the second wave of the flu coming any time soon.

Because of influenza B, the flu season is now expected to extend into late April or early May.

People at high risk for flu complications include children younger than 5, adults 65 years and older and pregnant women, the CDC says.

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