Just as one of the worst flu season in recent memory seemingly began to wind down, the Center for Disease Control warned that a second wave of the illness is on the way. Cases of what the CDC is calling the “Flu Virus B” have recently outpaced cases of the previously dominant strain “Flu Virus A.”
Unfortunately, the CDC has announced that Virus B is often the most dangerous for young children. That announcement comes after a flu season that shut down schools in a handful of states, claiming the lives of 53 children. Moreover, the H3N2 strain of influenza that rode in on the wings of the current flu season is also very dangerous for small kids and the elderly. More bad news: when a particular flu strain is hard on children, it always ends up being hard on everyone. This is primarily because sick parents get sick from kids, as children are not the best at preventing the spread of germs.
In just one week, 3,000 new cases of the flu have been reported in New York alone. While that’s down 19 percent from last week, the danger for the new strain is still real. Both Washington DC and Brooklyn, New York are currently dealing with Tamiflu shortages. Tamiflu is a popular drug used to treat even moderate to severe cases of the flu. While some use Tamiflu to stave off the flu, the effectiveness of the drug is reportedly only between 20 and 40 percent. There truly is no replacement for a proper flu vaccination and regularly washing your hands.
Those who have already beaten back the flu this season still need to exercise caution. Despite any previous illnesses, one could easily contact a different strain of the flu before the season is over.