Children's Hospital of Wisconsin: Influenza B cases remain high

Wisconsinites are still dealing with the flu, according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Health Services. Doctors are finding that this flu season is actually lasting longer than previous seasons. 

Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Pediatrician Dr. Lyn Ranta says it's not too late to get a flu shot. Granted Wisconsin is below the baseline for influenza activity statewide, it's still not completely gone. 

"The threat of influenza is still out there so you want to be careful. It's not too late to get your flu shot," said Ranta. 

The department found the number of Influenza A cases are decreasing weekly. But the number of Influenza B cases are still high. Between the two strands, Influenza A is the more aggressive illness, but the flu is still the flu says Ranta.  

"Influenza B can still make you sick. Sometimes it doesn't make you quite as sick as Influenza A. But it's still something to be concerned about," said Ranta.  

Cheryl Moulis is a fan of the flu shot and says her great-granddaughter and neighbor both got vaccinated. Then they both got the flu, but Moulis says, they didn't suffer.

Statewide, the Division of Public Health Services found only 35 percent of Wisconsinites admit to getting the flu shot. So, Moulis isn't surprised about the Influenza B's resurgence. 

The type of shot you get depends on your doctor. Ranta says there are two vaccines to treat the strains, Trivalent and Quadravalent.  The Influenza B strain has been covered through the Quadravalent vaccine, but, not the Trivalent. 

Therefore, high-risk groups, which are people over 65 years and children five years and younger, should check with their doctor to see if the Quadravalent shot is necessary. 

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