Oh, great! Flu season may have peaked in February, but we’re not out of the woods yet. So far this year, the flu season was mostly dominated by the H3N2 virus, otherwise known as influenza A. Docs say it was more severe and less receptive to vaccines than other types of the disease. Well, now, influenza B has overtaken influenza A, which means a second wave of flu could be on the way, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC says that even those who already got the flu this year may not be safe, since it’s possible to get sick with both influenza A and influenza B in a single season. Just super, huh? Plus influenza B infections, which commonly strike later in the season, may be especially severe for young children.
The good news, however, is that influenza B viruses traditionally respond better to vaccines than influenza A viruses. By CDC estimates, this year’s flu shot was 42% effective against influenza B, versus 25% effective against H3N2. And believe it or not, it’s still not too late to get a shot if you haven’t. The CDC recommends vaccination “as long as flu viruses are circulating” — and with 17 states still reporting widespread flu activity, that puts us squarely within that window. Read more about it and it’s possible effects on your kids here.