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As Influenza A tapers off, B is on the rise

Posted at 5:41 PM, Mar 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-01 18:41:52-05

Health officials say the peak of flu season is behind us, but cases of the flu are still being diagnosed..
and continuing to strain local hospitals.

Fremont Health Medical Center has been near capacity since the onslaught of flu cases started coming in. Infectious disease specialist Dr. Angela Sukstorf says they've dealt with drug shortages, and shortages of flu testing materials.

The staff hasn't been immune either.

"Our hospital is busier. going at about 90 percent capacity of the hospital," she said. "We did have an increase in illness among our employees. Probably 4 times more absenteeism than usual, but we're still able to take care of everyone."

Terra Uhing, executive director of Three Rivers Health Department, says overall flu numbers are down since the peak of the season in mid-February, but one type of the flu is on the rise.

"I believe from the state our influenza has peaked, but we're still seeing cases," Uhing said. "We actually just had todays already a lab confirmed case of influenza b. We know that [Influenza] A is pretty steady and [Influenza] B is surging."

Fremont Health Medical Center says while they've been busy, they haven't had to turn anyone away.

Sukstorf says they'll keep pulling through.

"Having Influenza B more prevalent now, probably in the next few weeks this should start to taper off," she said.

Health officials also want to stress it is still not too late to get a flu shot and it might be your best defense against the flu.