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The virus influenza has hundreds of different forms. It mutates regularly, but virologists have identified three main groups: A, B, and C. Type A influenza is accountable for the bulk of seasonal flu cases and can affect both humans and animals. Type B is another kind of flu that causes seasonal sickness, but only affects humans. It is usually less severe than influenza A, but it can be very threatening to people with chronic illness. Type C only affects humans but is much less severe than A or B. This third type primarily impacts children and older populations.

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Defining Influenza

All types of influenza are dangerous to humans. The Spanish flu killed millions of people all over the world, including over half a million Americans. In this country alone, over 200,000 people visit the hospital every year because of the flu. Experts disagree on how many people die from influenza (all types), but estimates range between 3000 and 49,000 deaths annually.

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What is a Virus?

Understanding the symptoms of the Type B flu virus requires knowledge of viral impacts on the human body. A virus is a tiny organism that causes slight to critical diseases in humans. Viruses are 10,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. Diseases produced by these pesky micro-organisms include flu, rabies, herpes, and the Ebola virus.

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Characteristics of Type B Flu

Type B flu viruses aren't as capable of mutation as type A. Virologists don't divide type B flu into subtypes but categorize them into lineages and strains.  Currently, all type B flu viruses belong to one of two lineages: B/Yamagata or B/Victoria. Type B flu caused 38 percent of pediatric deaths in the 2010–11 influenza season in the U.S.

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Type B Flu Symptoms

In Italy's past, the word 'influentia' described the adverse alinements of astral bodies that influenced everyday life and, in severe cases, made them ill. That's why we call this virus influenza.  The discovery of microbes and the understanding of viral behavior has led us to understand and prevent the flu, but influenza still impacts our everyday life anyway.  The flu usually comes on abruptly. Often, those who have the flu experience some or all of these symptoms: a sudden fever with a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or above, aches and pain, runny nose, congestion, nausea, and vomiting.

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Complications

Moderate complications of type B flu include sinus and ear infections, while the development of pneumonia or the inflammation of the heart, brain, and muscle tissues cause significant threats. Since the flu virus is an infection in the respiratory tract, it can cause inflammatory reactions in vulnerable populations and can lead to sepsis. Also, type B flu makes chronic medical problems worse. It can prompt attacks in people with asthma, and those with chronic heart disease may experience a multitude of symptoms including heart palpitations.

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Treating Type B at Home

The best treatments for flu require keeping warm, getting plenty of rest, and staying hydrated. Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatories will help reduce fever and deal with any aches and pains. Drinking plenty of water prevents dehydration, but herbal tea will ease sore throats and soothe chills. Be careful when taking flu remedies because many of them contain anti-inflammatory medications already, and it is easy to consume more than the recommended dose.

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More at Risk to Type B Flu

Even healthy people can catch the flu, and flu-related complications can affect any age group. In addition to those noted earlier, individuals over the age of 65 years old, expectant women, and young children are at higher risk of severe complications. Dehydration causes symptoms to worsen. If you can't keep fluid in your system for more than a couple of hours, it is time to consult a medical professional.

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Does Type B Flu Require Medical Treatment?

Most people recover from the flu without medical intervention, but if your symptoms are severe and do not improve within a week, or if you have a fever for three or more days, then it is time to see a doctor. If your flu-like symptoms get better, but then return with a fever or worsening cough, then consult a medical professional.

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Spreading the Virus

The flu is very contagious and can quickly spread to others; this is more likely to occur during the first five days of symptomatic illness. Flu is passed on by microbes from coughs and sneezes. The virus spreads when the expectorated droplets attach onto nearby surfaces or people. Coughing or sneezing directly into your hands means that your hands carry viral droplets which can spread the illness, as well.  Microbes can survive on untreated hands for 24 hours. Washing one's hands regularly is the most effective method of preventing the flu from spreading.

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Flu Shots

Another critical step in preventing the spread of any flu is getting an annual influenza vaccine. The flu shot won't give you the illness because there are no living microbes in the flu shot. After receiving the vaccine, you may experience muscle aches or feel slightly unwell for a couple of hours, but these symptoms will pass and the shot can help prevent the spread of type B influenza.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.