Flu season strikes again, this time seeing more of different strain

Lydia Fleming
March 29, 2018

Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services said the lineage of Influenza B isn't included in this season's vaccine, and said you can still get both strains.

Virginia is one of the last states reporting an unusually high percentage of patients seeking treatment for flu-like symptoms this season, according to the latest data from the CDC.

Generally, the H3N2 strain leads to more severe illness and more hospitalizations than B strains, according to the CDC.

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.

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This is not a surprising development though as influenza B viruses often strike after the influenza A viruses.

Peak flu season may be over and flu cases may be on the decline, but officials are warning residents to remain vigilant.

As of Saturday, A strains had accounted for about 71 percent of flu cases in Pennsylvania in the 2017-2018 flu season, with B strains accounting for about 26 percent. The report notes that almost 58 percent of all laboratory-confirmed cases of flu were caused by the B strain.

"We track all of our viruses and we definitely saw an increase this year in Influenze A and Influenza B virus as well as (what) many states across the nation had reported", Bolly says.

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At this time, the influenza A strain had accounted for 75 percent of all cases.

The good news is, it's not too late to get your flu vaccine. "Unfortunately, we don't know what the influenza B wave will look like". Chalkley says, "Some of our [23] deaths have been attributable to Influenza A while others have been attributable to Influenza B".

The CDC recommends flu shots for the unvaccinated while strains continue to circulate.

The flu season may have already peaked, but the danger is far from over.

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Overall, fewer people are going to see a doctor for the flu than during the height of the season at the beginning of February. Still, for the week, 4,759 specimens tested positive for flu, bringing the season's total to 246,766 positive specimens.

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