The year’s flu season is not over just yet.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are warning of a possible second flu wave from the second strain of this year’s flu virus: influenza B.
While overall flu activity throughout the country continues to increase, strains of the influenza B virus are becoming more common. Less severe than influenza A or the deadly H3N2 virus, influenza B can still have the same symptoms of other strains of the flu and can still be fatal for young children and the elderly.
“While H3N2 viruses remain predominant overall this season, during week 12, influenza B viruses were more frequently reported than influenza A viruses,” a recent CDC flu report read.
During this time period, samples tested for the flu found that 42.2 percent were positive for influenza A and 57.8 percent were positive for influenza B, according to a recent CDC report.
The California Department of Public Health came to the same conclusion in its recent report, which found that increased influenza B viruses are still being reported throughout the state.
“While influenza A virus activity has decreased, influenza B virus activity persists,” the California Department of Health wrote in its recent report. “Several more weeks of flu activity are expected and may continue through the spring.”
Influenza B does respond better to vaccines so the CDC is still recommending that everyone 6 months of age and older gets vaccinated to protect against the virus.
Early vaccine effectiveness estimates through Feb. 3 show that the flu vaccine reduced the risk of having to go to the doctor by 36 percent overall.
For those who already had the flu this year, it is still possible to contract the second strain of the virus.
Tips to stop the spread of germs from the CDC:
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
- If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_