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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: 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: 173626

Reported Deaths: 2457
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah34641566
Washington23309229
Marion20037299
Clackamas15216204
Lane11478144
Jackson9846127
Umatilla795383
Deschutes698772
Linn410763
Yamhill407074
Malheur342558
Polk341752
Klamath340859
Josephine304262
Douglas302765
Benton272518
Jefferson205932
Coos196631
Columbia153326
Union141124
Lincoln129720
Wasco128628
Hood River112429
Morrow107815
Clatsop8838
Crook86819
Baker85114
Curry5919
Tillamook5763
Lake4137
Grant4044
Harney3046
Wallowa1575
Sherman570
Gilliam551
Wheeler251
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3714587

Reported Deaths: 60922
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles122811823601
Riverside2972154525
San Bernardino2944644544
San Diego2745663662
Orange2687624886
Santa Clara1167722013
Kern1077641317
Sacramento1010581646
Fresno1004311642
Alameda850891475
Ventura802301000
San Joaquin714311334
Contra Costa66839781
Stanislaus603061028
Tulare49383829
Monterey43260352
San Mateo41050560
San Francisco35947517
Santa Barbara33830446
Solano31875239
Merced31196452
Sonoma29632311
Imperial27920718
Kings22755245
Placer21751283
San Luis Obispo20917256
Madera16234239
Santa Cruz15554203
Marin13851226
Yolo13547199
Shasta11677217
Butte11529196
El Dorado9688109
Napa965479
Sutter9268109
Yuba609844
San Benito596963
Lassen566624
Tehama543056
Nevada444775
Tuolumne406664
Mendocino398747
Amador361646
Humboldt358737
Lake339943
Glenn235425
Colusa219216
Calaveras205551
Siskiyou194021
Inyo141738
Del Norte12747
Mono12734
Plumas6906
Modoc4884
Mariposa4197
Trinity3985
Sierra1100
Alpine880
Unassigned610
Medford
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