Parents Of Young Children Have Reason To Be Watchful As Flu Season Ends
If you thought you were out of the woods, read this first.
The flu season may be winding down, but parents of young children have reason to remain watchful.
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 percent 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.
Flu is a contagious respiratory illness with mild to severe symptoms that can sometimes lead to death. Generally, the H3N2 strain leads to more severe illness and more hospitalizations than B strains, according to the CDC.
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.”
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The CDC recommends flu shots for the unvaccinated while strains continue to circulate. It is possible for people who’ve been sick with one strain of the flu to get a different strain in the same season.