This year’s flu season is considered to be the most severe in recent years. It has already caused 37 pediatric deaths, 12,000 hospitalizations for laboratory-confirmed influenza and more than 74,562 lab-confirmed flu cases. This season, H3N2 strain is the most predominant, which causes outbreaks of the two influenza A viruses and two types of influenza B viruses responsible for flu epidemics.

Here’s what you should know about the flu and how you can stay protected:

Types of Flu
There are mainly three types of influenza virus- A, B, and C. Influenza viruses A and B cause epidemics every winter, while virus C causes mild respiratory problems. Virus A is further divided into subtypes, and both A & B viruses are further classified into different strains.

What Are the Causes?

The flu virus is contagious and can be spread from one person to another through small particles or droplets in a cough or sneeze of the infected person. It can also spread through contaminated surfaces and in crowded places, such as offices or schools.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), young children, older people, pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions are at a great risk of acquiring the flu.

How to Know You Are Infected with Influenza Virus!

It’s very common for people to get the flu and a cold confused. Both flu and cold symptoms may include a sore throat, runny nose, and cough. The following table will help you understand the difference between cold and flu.

Signs and Symptoms of Influenza A
Symptoms of influenza A may be moderate to severe and vary from person to person. A person suffering from influenza A may show some or all of the following symptoms:

Sore throat
Runny/stuffy nose
Muscle and body aches
Vomiting and diarrhea, more common in children
Signs and Symptoms of Influenza B
Influenza B is similar to influenza A, and shares some common symptoms. However, influenza B has milder symptoms. The following are some of the symptoms of influenza B:

Fever, but will not be as acute as influenza A
Body aches
Sore throat
Stuffy/Runny nose
Loss of appetite

Further, to know more about, How a Person with the Flu Gets Cured and Prevention Tips for Influenza Viruses A & B, read our blog:

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Peter L Kim, has been in practice at Costa Mesa since 1995 and favors a team approach to the child, adult, and senior healthcare. He works hard to find the best fit for you. He's sports medicine trained, part of the Paleo physician’s network, and serves as the Medical Director for the Baker Street Family Care Center.