VERIFY: Is flu season over?

29 March, 2018, 01:58 | Author: Keith Rowe
  • 4 ways the flu turns deadly

The flu season appears to be winding down in Maryland and Virginia; but in D.C., there was a rise in the number of reported cases last week.

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

In Maryland, the intensity level of the flu gradually dropped from "high" in the week ending February 24, to moderate, low and then minimal for the week ending March 17.

That comes from a CDC study that began in 2000 and was released in 2012 that revealed that Influenza B infections tend to act quicker and have a higher level of cardiac injury associated with flu deaths, particularly in children, compared to Influenza A infections. People who have already been sick with strain A, can still get sick from the strain B. "We always see some B this year", Eric Zgodzinski Health Commissioner with the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department said.

The flu remains considered widespread across ME, but the decrease in numbers may indicate the spread of the virus continues to slow. During that week, almost 58 percent of all lab-confirmed cases were caused by the B-strain, according to the report. "We know that illness associated with influenza B can be just as severe as illness associated with influenza A", Nordlund said.

The CDC recommends flu shots for those who have not gotten vaccinated while strains continue to circulate. That's more than double the total amount of cases from last flu season.

"Some of the patients that we're seeing actually had Influenza A and now they're coming back with Influenza B", Bolly says. As type A numbers start trending down around this time of year, type B numbers start ticking up.

Unfortunately, if you've already had the flu this season, you're not necessarily out of the woods.

Because of influenza B, the flu season is now expected to extend into late April or early May.

"That's a problem; that's something we should all be anxious about", said Bruce Heslin, who is the father of four children and a doctor at St. Vincent Health.

Still, this second wave is not entirely unexpected, according to Nordlund.



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