'Progresses a little faster:' CDC warns of Influenza B, which can be 'more severe' in kids

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Erica Manske

MILWAUKEE — Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Aurora Health Care officials have announced they’ll lift temporary visitor restrictions related to the flu on Wednesday, March 28, but the CDC is warning of another strain that could impact kids.

Erica Manske knows how fast the flu can hit. While her kids are happy and healthy, she said she’s been working to keep the germs away.

“Just keep listening to the sounds of their throat and if they start developing weird symptoms or something, out of the normal,” said Manske.

First, it was Influenza A. Now, the CDC is warning about Influenza B.

Dr. LuAnn Moraski

“It presents the same way, what we’ve seen so far, with fever, sometimes headache and body aches,” said Dr. LuAnn Moraski, YourMD.

According to the CDC, five children have died from flu-like illnesses recently, bringing the total number of flu-related deaths in children to 133. None of those deaths occurred in Wisconsin.

“It seems to be more severe in pediatric patients — specifically kids under the age of 11, and it progresses a little faster,” said Dr. Moraski.

Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services said the lineage of Influenza B isn’t included in this season’s vaccine, and said you can still get both strains.

“You get the flu vaccine not to absolutely prevent you from getting sick. It minimizes how sick you get. It helps prevent hospitalizations and death,” said Dr. Moraski.

Manske said she’s been pushing hand washing with her kids.

Erica Manske

Meanwhile, the CDC’s map shows widespread flu activity is still occurring this spring in 17 states, including Wisconsin.

CLICK HERE for more on Influenza A and B, via the CDC’s website.

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