Health officials warn of influenza B virus

Health officials warn of influenza B virus
(Source: WTOL)

LUCAS COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - With spring here, that normally means flu cases decline, but federal health officials say there could be a second wave of the virus that we have to look out for.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the influenza B virus is making the rounds across the country. Flu type B almost exclusively infects humans and is not as common as influenza A.

"We saw A this year, very prevalent. We always see some B this year," Eric Zgodzinski Health Commissioner with the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department said. "It looks like we're starting to see more B in Lucas County."

Health officials warn this strain could mostly impact children, but in Lucas County right now, that is not what health officials say they are seeing.

"What we're seeing right now in Lucas County, at this point in time, the B's are mainly older individuals," Zgodzinski added.

The CDC reports that two pediatric deaths were associated with an influenza B virus during the last few weeks. In Lucas County, the health department reports 15 cases of flu type B last week.

"There's no crystal ball to say how many more cases we're gonna have or when this is gonna end," Zgodzinski said. "Someone asked me today, 'well, what do you think?' It could end tomorrow or it could be weeks from now depending on how the virus runs its course, what's the environment factor, things like that."

If you are already vaccinated for influenza A, there is no need to get a separate vaccination for influenza B. But if you think you have the flu, check with your doctor for any concerns.

Zgodzinski says if you are sick, stay at home and rest.

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