CDC Warns Possible Second Wave of Flu This Season - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

CDC Warns Possible Second Wave of Flu This Season

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While flu season is winding down, a separate strain is now being reported more frequently. Throughout this season, 'Influenza A' was the dominant strain, but now, 'Influenza B' is making its rounds. 

Right around February, Washoe County Health District officials say flu cases caused by the 'B' virus started coming in. A slight uptick in the flu season, after 'A' viruses start to decline, is not uncommon. Washoe County Epidemiologist, Kerry Chalkley, says, "That's happened before in the past, and that does appear to be what happened in our county."

Parents should be on high alert, as CDC officials say the 'B' virus could be more severe for younger children. However, health officials say everyone should take precautions.  

While it's unclear just how widespread this possible second flu wave could be, Influenza B has already claimed lives in Washoe County.  Chalkley says, "Some of our [23] deaths have been attributable to Influenza A while others have been attributable to Influenza B."

Even if you've already gotten sick earlier this season, you're not necessarily immune to the second wave.  People who have already been sick with strain A, can still get sick from the strain B.  

The good news is, it's not too late to get your flu vaccine. In fact, health experts urge everyone who is able, to get the shot if you haven't already, even this far into the season. 

The vaccine has been about 36% effective this year and protects against both strains. 

Continue to take other precautions like washing your hands frequently, sneezing or coughing into your elbow and stay home from work or school if you're feeling sick. 

The CDC estimates that almost 60% of recent flu cases have been caused by the 'B' virus. 

There were about 100 cases of the flu reported in Washoe County last week, and more than 5,100 cases overall. That's more than double the total amount of cases from last flu season. 

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