Doctors see increase in Type B flu in Hampton Roads

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Doctors in Hampton Roads say they are seeing a rise in positive Type B flu patients in the region right now.

Virginia health officials report flu activity remains widespread in the area.

Doctors with Patient First have recorded a significant rise in positive cases of influenza B virus over the past week.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that influenza A and B are the two main types of flu virus that routinely spread.

While influenza A has been most widespread, the reported cases of B has steadily risen.

The B virus is less common and also mutates more slowly than A.

Symptoms of B are the same as other flu types, including fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.

Patient First offers the following tips to fight the cold, flu and other infections:

  1. Wash Your Hands – This is the single most important way to stop the spread of colds and flu.  According to the CDC, about 80% of infectious diseases are spread through touch alone. Scrub with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol is a good substitute if soap and water are not available.

  2. Cover-Up When You Sneeze and Cough - Many of us were taught to cover our mouths and noses with our hands when sneezing and coughing.  However, a better option is to use the crook of your elbow or a tissue when available. This way the germs will not get onto your hands and spread through contact with others.

  3. Disinfect - Cold and flu germs can live on surfaces for hours. Disinfecting items like remote controls, doorknobs, table tops, keyboards, phones, and toys can kill the germs and stop them from spreading.

  4. Don’t Share Your Germs - Take steps to stop the spread of colds and flu at home and work.  Stay home from work when you know you are sick. The same goes for sending sick children to school.  Keep them home. If you have the flu, be sure to stay home until you have been fever-free without medicine for at least 24 hours to avoid making others sick

  5. Live Healthy - Help yourself win the battle of the bug by eating healthy, getting a good night sleep, exercising, and reducing stress.  These things can help strengthen your immune system and potentially make your body more capable of fighting a cold or virus.