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: Oct 1, 2020 10:39 AM

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.

Cases: 313161

Reported Deaths: 3594
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah51245642
Washington34995276
Marion32577393
Clackamas26570271
Lane23989246
Jackson20977257
Deschutes16623102
Umatilla12602125
Douglas10712188
Linn1046886
Josephine8659165
Yamhill744999
Klamath643491
Polk623570
Malheur479467
Benton461927
Coos412069
Columbia324237
Jefferson313746
Lincoln276330
Union272737
Wasco239039
Crook212338
Clatsop211725
Tillamook181523
Baker174421
Morrow167921
Curry166817
Hood River163035
Harney78916
Grant7558
Lake6768
Wallowa50811
Gilliam1374
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4644566

Reported Deaths: 68019
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles144512125852
Riverside3579884804
San Diego3495814009
San Bernardino3472035506
Orange3146225354
Sacramento1503072089
Santa Clara1405641841
Fresno1358611888
Kern1358421515
Alameda1162141329
Ventura976901120
San Joaquin973871615
Contra Costa95727924
Stanislaus806991234
Tulare72969896
San Mateo52239607
San Francisco51907605
Monterey49465565
Solano44151312
Santa Barbara43112500
Sonoma39441378
Merced39370535
Placer36487364
Imperial34261755
Kings30124284
San Luis Obispo28300313
Madera21707258
Butte21307230
Shasta20683276
Santa Cruz20151211
Yolo19143239
Marin17106242
El Dorado16004127
Sutter13094153
Napa1226895
Yuba926061
Nevada847685
Humboldt829587
Tehama823784
San Benito709067
Mendocino685575
Lassen637627
Tuolumne615393
Lake603687
Amador492259
Glenn398030
Siskiyou389541
Calaveras342266
Del Norte336034
Colusa290918
Inyo166539
Mono14935
Plumas12406
Mariposa99712
Trinity72010
Modoc6278
Sierra1980
Unassigned1650
Alpine1000
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