In severe flu season, Pennsylvania records late uptick in 'B strain' cases

Col. Darien Hammett and Col. William Patrick lead a panel discussion during the rapid acquisitions workshop called RATPAC being put on by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Fighter and Bomber Directorate Wright Patterson Air Force Base Feb. 7

Col. Darien Hammett and Col. William Patrick lead a panel discussion during the rapid acquisitions workshop called RATPAC being put on by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Fighter and Bomber Directorate Wright Patterson Air Force Base Feb. 7

The CDC said in an update that influenza B viruses were reported more frequently than influenza A during the week ending in March 17.

Dr. Lopez says even people who already got the A strain this year are still at risk for this strain, and he recommends the flu shot. "We know there's a part of the virus that always drifts or changes from season to season". The 2017-18 A strain of the virus is the dreaded H3N2, which has historically been resistant to vaccinations because it mutates as it circulates through populations. Younger children are often more heavily impacted by this strain than other age groups.

When the flu was running rampant earlier this year, it was Influenza A. Now as that slacks off, the CDC warns the "B" strain is starting to appear.

The symptoms for both strains are generally similar - fever, congestion, muscle soreness and fatigue - and usually subside with rest at home, over-the-counter medication and plenty of fluids.

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