Influenza B is Hitting Colorado Unusually Early this Flu Season
Coloradans will be starting off 2020 with an unusual flu season. Great.
According to The Denver Post, influenza B has been the reason for a large number of flu cases in Colorado this year. This is strange because the strain usually does not appear until the end of flu season.
However, there is no reason for alarm. Officials say that the number of flu cases in Colorado is normal as of now.
Over 200 Coloradans have been hospitalized with the flu so far this season, which the Department of Public Health says is "not severe."
The department is unsure as to why influenza B cases are occurring this early, but said they had a similar situation with influenza A last year.
The state saw its worst flu season in 2017-2018, when many Coloradans were afflicted with the aggressive H3N2 virus.
This year's main culprit is H1N1, which you may remember from the swine-flu outbreak in 2009.
Influenza A and influenza B both cause the same symptoms, which include fever, cough, sore throat, chills, headaches, fatigue, and a stuffy nose.
However, influenza B is more likely to affect children.
Since it is still early in the flu season, officials do not yet know how well the current flu vaccine matches this season's strains.
Regardless, the department is urging everyone six months and older to get their flu shot.
The shot is especially important for high-risk groups such as the elderly, pregnant women, and people with chronic illnesses.
Stay healthy in 2020, friends.