We thought flu season was almost over! Unfortunately, we thought wrong: Although one type of flu that was spreading like wildfire earlier this season has been dwindling, there's a different type of flu that's now on the rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Specifically, influenza A is finally starting to slow down, but it's time to meet influenza B: Another form of the flu virus that is particularly dangerous for the little ones.
"We know that illness associated with influenza B can be just as severe as illness associated with influenza A," said Kristen Nordlund, a spokesperson for the CDC, in an interview with CNN. "We also know that influenza B tends to be more severe for younger children."
It's a downer, yes, because we usually associate the beginning of spring with the end of flu season, but influenza B is not something to take lightly — especially since the CDC also reported that there is still widespread flu activity happening in 16 states plus Puerto Rico. Tragically, at least 137 flu-associated deaths of children have been reported during the 2017-2018 season. The last thing we want is to hear about any more reports like this one.
Whether you have small kids or grandkids running around or not, the CDC recommends a flu vaccine for everyone who is unvaccinated as the flu strains continue to circulate. But of course, as all parents and grandparents know, it's especially important to protect the little ones during this time. Along with vaccinations, it's imperative to wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your mouths, eyes, and noses, and limit contact with other people who have come down with the flu.
Stay healthy, everyone!
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