Influenza B in Flu’s Second Wave Can Hit Kids Even Harder

Influenza B in Flu’s Second Wave Can Hit Kids Even Harder


Flu season has a second wave, the CDC warned, with influenza B viruses possibly hitting kids harder than illness associated with influenza A.

Already had the flu? You can catch it again.

The flu season had been dominated by the A-strain virus, but now the B-strain appears to be taking precedence, making up almost 58 percent of the cases reported in the last few days, WFAA-TV reported.

A weekly surveillance report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that while the number of reported cases of Influenza A had declined, the number of Influenza B incidents were up.

The newer strain may be less severe overall, but it still impacted children quite severely.

“We know that illness associated with influenza B can be just as severe as illness associated with influenza A,” CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said, CNN reported. “We also know that influenza B tends to be more severe for younger children.”

Tom Haupt of the Wisconsin Health Department also said the B-virus can hit children harder than adults and as a result there were more hospitalizations amongst the younger population, WISN reported.

Experts have noted that those who have already been sick with Influenza A are still susceptible to picking up the B strain and are advising caution, especially amongst children.

“You want to be careful about breathing, if they look like they are struggling to breathe,” Dr. Todd Ellerin of South Shore Health System said, WCVB reported.

“Poor appetite, irritability, those can be signs that there can be an infection and some of that infection can be influenza.”

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