The type B flu is one of the three types of the flu virus. Out of the three types of the flu viruses, types A and B are responsible for causing seasonal flu and can lead to epidemics. Starting November up to April, it is known as the flu season in which most flu epidemics are likely to occur.
Symptoms of type B flu
The indications of type B flu are usually milder than type A flu but can be similar in nature. Once an individual acquires the type B flu virus, headache, fatigue and fever will likely manifest abruptly. In most cases, runny nose, sore throat, congestion, muscle aches and non-productive cough can also develop among those who have the type B flu. Children can also exhibit gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and nausea once infected with the type B flu.
If any of the symptoms of flu are evident, a doctor should be consult for the appropriate treatment options in order to prevent any complications from developing.
Unlike with the type A flu that has three major strains and subtypes that are constantly changing, the type B flu only has a single main strain and alters in a slow rate. Take note that the process utilized by type B flu to change itself is known as the antigenic drift. The antigenic drift occurs once the virus steadily mutates overtime and these fresh mutations spread as the population become immune to the older subtypes.
What are the risk factors?
Some individuals face a higher risk for acquiring the type B flu than others. Children and individuals over 50 years old are more likely to become infected with all forms of the flu and also prone to developing the complications but they are rare in type B flu.
Pregnant women, healthcare workers and asthmatic individuals must also consider observing the safety measures against type B flu such as a yearly flu shot.
The seasonal flu vaccine that is given every year provides protection against the common strains of both type A and type B flu. The preventive measures that everyone should observe include regular hand washing, avoiding exposure to infected individuals who have flu and maintaining a healthy immune system
Treatment for type B flu
The treatment for type B flu can help reduce the symptoms but will not cure the virus. Nevertheless, individuals who are infected with type B flu can expect relief in about 1-2 weeks as the body clears the virus. There are over-the-counter decongestants and pain relief medications that can be used to provide relief to the individual. In some cases, nasal saline sprays or a neti pot can be used to help clear up the congestion caused by the type B flu. You can enroll in a first aid class so that you can learn the appropriate measures to provide relief to the individual.