Reports of influenza B are up, as overall flu activity decreases

(Source: DHEC)
(Source: DHEC)

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Parents – listen up! Flu season is not over. In fact, the strain popping up across the country is especially dangerous for young children.

Influenza A has been the predominant strain wreaking havoc across the country this flu season and, while reported cases of influenza A have declined, influenza B is on the rise.

Overall, flu cases are declining nationwide. As of SC DHEC's latest report, South Carolina is reporting regional flu activity this week. The week before, the flu was still listed as "widespread."

Still, flu cases remain high in four states this week, according to an article on Today.com with South Carolina being among those states.

Dr. Anna-Kathryn Burch, Director of Pediatric Diseases with Palmetto Health-USC, told WIS that just because you or your child got influenza A, doesn't mean you won't get influenza B.

"If your child had flu A earlier in the season, it doesn't mean that you're not going to get influenza again," Burch said. "Remember that influenza A and influenza B are two different strains of influenza. The antibodies you make for influenza A are not going to protect you from influenza B."

Regardless, she said it's still key to get your flu shot if you haven't already. She said it can dramatically affect how your body reacts to contracting the flu.

She also warned parents to be aware of the signs and symptoms. They look similar across both strains. Be on the watch for body aches, fever, cough, GI symptoms and runny nose.

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