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CDC: Prevalent flu strains target children, young people

Posted at 8:03 AM, Jan 14, 2020

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Two prevalent strains of the flu virus affecting thousands in the U.S., and hundreds in Southern Nevada, are targeting children and young people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Vit Kraushaar, medical investigator with the Southern Nevada Health District, said Influenza A H1N1 and Influenza B Victoria contributed the most to nearly 650 hospitalizations and 11 deaths in the region this flu season.

He said hospitalization rates peaked early in the season, then slacked off.

"It's too early to say whether that was a true peak or whether we'll see an additional peak," Kraushaar said.

Kraushaar said the flu vaccine developed to stem infection rates this year is more effective in preventing the A strain of the virus than the B strain.

"With Flu A, there's actually pretty good similarities between what's incorporated in the flu vaccine and what's circulating," he said, "for Flu B, the Victoria lineage, it's not as good a match."

Kraushaar said that's no reason to avoid getting the flu vaccine as it can still provide protection when exposed to the virus.

"The flu vaccine is not perfect, but it's the most effective tool we have. So, it's not too late in this flu season," he said.