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Health experts brace for return of the flu

30 March 2018

The strain of the flu that dominated the season - which runs from October 1 to May 19 - was influenza A. The Centers for Disease Control notes that influenza B can be just as deadly as other strains of the virus.

During the week ending March 17, almost 58% of all laboratory-confirmed cases of flu were caused by B-strain viruses, according to the CDC report. 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.

Flu is a contagious respiratory illness with mild to severe symptoms that can sometimes lead to death. According to the Denver Channel, the total number so far is up to 3,690 hospitalizations and counting, the most Colorado has ever seen in one flu season.

CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund told CNN that parents should continue to be vigilant.

According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Influenza B illness - a variation less common than the dominant Influenza A strand that was notoriously troublesome and resilient this winter - was more widely reported nationally than A during the week of March 17. That could mean that people would have to get flu shots less often, Aspelund says.

Dr. Lopez says because the season was so bad earlier this year in Louisiana, this strain might not be as epidemic, but it could still get people. Puerto Rico and 16 states were still seeing widespread flu cases during the week ending March 24, the CDC said Friday in its weekly surveillance report.

In Northampton county, there were 2,921 cases of influenza A and 2,075 cases of influenza B.

Pennsylvania officials have reported 15 more flu-related deaths, bringing the state's death toll from the current flu season to 207, including six pediatric cases. Four states had high outpatient activity, and eight had moderate rates. That's above the expected level - just 0.03%higher - but the percentage has gone down from the previous week, when the rate was 2.7%. This flu season, many hospitals and emergency rooms were flooded because of the flu.

Health experts brace for return of the flu