A Second Wave of Flu May Be On the Way, CDC Warns

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- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning to parents that a second wave of flu is beginning to hit the US and the latest strain impacts small children more severely.

The dominant A-strain H3N2 influenza virus seems to be dying out, in good news for the young and old alike. "Based on some research the CDC has done, both flu viruses can cause severe illness".

One week in March the CDC confirmed almost 58% of all confirmed cases of the flu were the B-strain.

CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund agreed.

"We track all of our viruses and we definitely saw an increase this year in Influenze A and Influenza B virus as well as (what) many states across the nation had reported", Bolly says. "It's important to remember that influenza B can be just as severe as influenza A and sometimes it can be more severe in younger children".

CDC continues to recommend influenza vaccination while influenza viruses are circulating in the community; several more weeks of influenza activity are likely.

The newer strain is usually less severe than influenza A, but is still a concern for young families, even those who may have already dealt with one round of flu this season.

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Though flu activity is declining, this second wave of influenza B cases is not unexpected, Nordlund said.

"But we still are seeing the Influenza B virus still kind of trailing along, lingering along a little bit", Bolly says.

The rep went on to say that's not uncommon, but it could make for a rough end to the flu season nonetheless. That's a decrease of about 25 percent week over week.

As of its latest update, the CDC reports flu-related child deaths are up to 133 for the 2017-2018 flu season. This rate is only slightly higher than the 7.4 percent threshold that had been anticipated for the week.

Bolly says the best method of defense against the flue is practicing good hygiene and getting the flu shot as chances of severity and the length of the flu sticking around decrease with the shot.

The overall hospitalization rate for the season is now 93.5 per 100,000 population. Nearly 58% of all reported cases were caused by the typically less risky - but still very serious - cousins of our immunological foe.

Written by Susan Scutti for CNN.

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