We love a BOGO deal when it comes to shoes. But getting two for the price of one when it comes to the flu is a definite NOGO! Unfortunately, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a new strain of the bug—called influenza B—is picking up where its predecessor left off, with a second flu epidemic in Bergen County leading to coughs, sniffles, and possibly deadlier consequences for adults and kids well into the spring season.
“We are still seeing flu activity in the emergency room – particularly type B,” says Dr. Barbara Schreibman, associate chief of the emergency department at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center. “While this is a type of flu is a little less virulent than the type we were seeing during the height of the season, it can still cause serious problems particular for the elderly and very young.”
While experts say 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, the good news is that influenza B viruses traditionally respond better to vaccines than influenza A viruses. Which means it could be worth making a trip to your doctor or local pharmacy for a flu shot, which are still readily available.
As is taking the usual precautions to stave off the virus, according to Dr. Schreibman: “Of course, as has been the case all flu season long, it is very important to wash your hands, avoid areas in which you suspect people may be sick and if you feel like you have flu-like symptoms follow-up with your physician.”