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Influenza B is most common strain for 2020 flu season, breaking 27-year trend

According to the CDC, 13 flu-related pediatric deaths have been reported in the last week. So far in this year's flu season, two children have died in the state of Oregon.

Posted: Feb 25, 2020 5:18 PM
Updated: Feb 25, 2020 6:24 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — According to the CDC, 13 flu-related pediatric deaths have been reported in the last week in the U.S. So far in this year's flu season, two children have died in the state of Oregon. Neither of those cases have been confirmed in the Medford area, according to local and state health officials. Nationwide, 105 children have died.

Although more pediatric flu deaths have been reported compared to this time last year, the flu season started much earlier and Modie Jonathan with the Oregon Health Authority says it is difficult to compare the two seasons until the season is over.

“The CDC has reported, to-date we have 105 pediatric deaths; that’s anyone under the age of 18,” said Tanya Phillips, Health Promotion Manager with Jackson County. “Predominantly it is Influenza B, but then you have to look at the other part of it — how many deaths total have we seen in the U.S. The CDC estimates that to be 16,000 to 41,000.”

The fact that Influenza B is the predominant strain this flu season is unique.

“We saw it early on,” said Phillips. "We haven’t seen Influenza B being the predominant strain in 27 years.”

Influenza A is typically the predominant strain and is mostly found in animals and humans. It’s not uncommon to see Influenza B, it just usually becomes more prominent towards the end of the flu season, rather than the beginning.


RELATED: Coos Bay High School student dies from flu, school officials say


“What will happen is the CDC will look into this a little bit more and look into if that strain of B that we’re seeing; typically the vaccine does amazing when it comes to B, and see if it started to mutate, if there was a bit of a difference that made it not as effective,” said Phillips.

According to a recent report by the CDC, this year’s flu vaccine has been 45 percent effective. Even though children are a vulnerable population, the vaccination was 55 percent effective for kids.

“Among children, we know that kids six-months to 17 years respond better to the flu vaccine and this vaccine this year shows that,” said Phillips.

The flu vaccine remains the most effective way to prevent the flu, even if you get a flu shot and still get sick.

“That’s one thing to always think about with the flu vaccine, maybe it doesn’t always prevent the illness from occurring but it will still help provide some protection where maybe the individual isn’t as sick as long, and maybe they don’t have to go to the hospital because the vaccine provided some protection to them,” said Phillips.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 10817

Reported Deaths: 224
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah260872
Marion169751
Washington167620
Clackamas89425
Umatilla8346
Union3631
Lincoln3494
Lane2533
Malheur2351
Deschutes2240
Polk16612
Linn16510
Yamhill1649
Jackson1570
Jefferson1370
Klamath1311
Morrow1191
Benton986
Hood River980
Wasco971
Josephine611
Douglas560
Clatsop550
Coos480
Columbia450
Lake220
Crook150
Tillamook150
Wallowa110
Curry90
Baker80
Sherman30
Harney20
Gilliam10
Grant10
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 292560

Reported Deaths: 6718
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1232563643
Riverside21957515
Orange20225376
San Diego17842406
San Bernardino16586293
Imperial7464125
Fresno728184
Alameda7245142
San Joaquin581761
Kern575987
Santa Clara5552165
Tulare5298148
Sacramento477678
Contra Costa424186
San Francisco407150
Ventura385850
Santa Barbara380830
San Mateo3743111
Marin323226
Stanislaus300450
Kings282338
Monterey227017
Solano192227
Merced162311
Sonoma148714
Placer97011
Madera8578
San Luis Obispo8453
Yolo76028
Santa Cruz5033
Napa4534
Sutter3234
San Benito3042
Butte2954
El Dorado2800
Lassen2670
Shasta1715
Humboldt1574
Nevada1551
Yuba1543
Glenn1530
Lake1001
Colusa980
Mendocino980
Tehama981
Calaveras610
Del Norte580
Tuolumne580
Mono491
Amador350
Inyo341
Siskiyou330
Mariposa311
Plumas150
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
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