The flu season may be down, but it is by no means out.
While the more lethal version of the flu is winding down, the more traditional variety has been making the rounds, and toilet paper & Pepto Bismol sales have likely increased because of it.
As flu activity continued to decrease across the nation, the A-strain H3N2 influenza virus, which had dominated previously, was reported less frequently than B viruses, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly surveillance report indicated Friday.
During the week ending March 17, nearly 58% of all laboratory-confirmed cases of flu were caused by B-strain viruses, according to the CDC report. Circulating strains this season, which began in October, were a mix of A viruses (H3N2 and H1N1) and B viruses, reports WGN.
Even those who already got the flu this year may not be safe, since it’s possible to get sick with both influenza A and influenza B in a single season.
The bad news is, if you get this flu, be prepared for explosive diarrhea and projectile vomiting.
The good news is that if you’re a flu shot taking type of person, influenza B viruses traditionally respond better to vaccines than influenza A viruses. By CDC estimates, this year’s flu shot was 42% effective against influenza B, versus 25% effective against H3N2.
Yet parents might want to continue their vigilance with regard to younger children, CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund suggested.
“We know that illness associated with influenza B can be just as severe as illness associated with influenza A,” Nordlund said. “We also know that influenza B tends to be more severe for younger children.”
Nationwide, 2.7% of patients visiting their doctors complained of flu-like illness during week 11, just 0.5% higher than expected.
The overall hospitalization rate for the season is now 93.5 per 100,000 population. Among 26,694 total hospitalizations reported, nearly 78% were associated with influenza A virus.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
March 28th, 2018