CBS Local — Although the flu season may be winding down, the CDC has some bad news for Americans as a second wave of the potentially fatal illness is reportedly spreading across the country.

In a March 23 release the CDC announced that overall flu cases are finally dropping however, “Influenza B” cases have jumped above the more common “Influenza A” virus. Cases of the B-strain made up nearly 60 percent of the country’s flu cases reported during the week of March 17.

“We know that illness associated with influenza B can be just as severe as illness associated with influenza A,” CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund said, via CNN. “We also know that influenza B tends to be more severe for younger children.”

Nordlund added that it’s possible for people who have been sick with one strain of the flu to become infected with a different strain within the same season. The CDC spokesperson admits the agency doesn’t know how severe the spread of Influenza B will be in 2018 and is still urging Americans to get a flu shot.

To this point, 26,694 people have been hospitalized with flu-related symptoms. Nearly 80 percent of those cases have been for Influenza A. Influenza B’s tendency to affect children more severely makes a late-season outbreak of the strain highly concerning. Since October 2017 133 children have died due to the flu.

More From CBS Connecticut

Watch CBSN Live
CBS Entertainment
CBS Local App

Listen Live