Local doctors: Influenza B bringing flu's second wind

GRAYSON COUNTY, Tex. (KXII) - Flu season is nearing its end, but the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control is showing there are more cases of Influeza B being reported now than Strain A.

Cases of Strain B made up 73% of reported flu cases in Texas and 72% in Oklahoma, something Dustin Deaver said he didn't think was still going on this late into the flu season.

"Honestly you think of springtime and good weather, that flu season would be over," Deaver said, "And it kicks back up."

Deaver said he's seen the flu hit several of his friends and family members at its peak in January.

"My church family has it, it's spread to their kids and then spreads to everyone else," Deaver said. "So its really scary; once one person gets it, every one gets it."

Despite the decline in the flu overall in the past few weeks, several local emergency room doctors around Sherman said they've seen an influx in patients coming in with Strain B over the past week or two.

Dr. Shawn MacDonald with Sherman Medical said it's possible to get the second strain of the flu even if you've had Strain A.

"They are are two totally different viruses. Once you've had one, you'll develop antibodies, but that wont protect you from B," MacDonald said.

He said part of the problem has been the ineffectiveness of the flu vaccine.

"The vaccine is not as effective as its been in the past, and next year, they're making a new formula and vaccine to catch up to the virus' structure now," MacDonald said.

As for Deaver, he managed to avoid the flu so far, even though he didn't get the shot.

"I'm just lucky and blessed to not get it at all."



 
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