After returning from a trip to Sri Lanka, TV actress Debina Bonnerjee, found she could not shake off a cold that she had picked up. She went to a doctor who made her do some tests and she discovered she had the influenza B virus.
Debina, who became famous after she was seen as Sita in Imagine TV’s ‘Ramayan’. revealed that she had contracted the influenza B virus on her Instagram story and said her symptoms included fever and cough. “So got Influenza B virus. Well, hang on mamma! Staying away from my babies now…motherhood is anything but easy,” wrote Debina, as she also shared a copy of the test report. According to the actor, her symptoms have been fever (which went up to 102 degree F one night ) and cough.
So, what is Influenza B?
Influenza B or a flu is a respiratory infection found only in humans. There are three types of flu viruses: A, B, and C. Type A and B cause the annual influenza epidemics that have up to 20 per cent of the population sniffling, aching, coughing, and running high fevers. Type C also causes flu; however, type C flu symptoms are much less severe.
Type B flu may cause a less severe reaction than type A flu virus, but occasionally, type B flu can still be extremely harmful. Since the genetic make up of the B virus changes more slowly than that of the influenza, it does not cause pandemics. But, it can be highly contagious and can have dangerous effects on your health in more severe cases.
In short, influenza B virus is a type of a RNA virus that belongs to the Orthomyxoviridae family.
Also read: Adenovirus spike: Virologists tell us how parents can keep children safe
What are the symptoms
Flu symptoms can come on suddenly. You may get high fever, cough, a stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, fatigue, body aches, and sometimes nausea and vomiting. Fever and chills are typically two of the influenza B virus symptoms.
What is the treatment?
According to doctors, if it is left untreated, or when the person gets a severe attack of the influenza B, it can lead to pneumonia, bronchitis, respiratory failure, kidney failure and myocarditis.
If symptoms don’t get better after more than a week, an appointment with the doctor is necessary. An early diagnosis of influenza illness can help you determine the best course of therapy and stop the virus from getting worse.
Doctors advise the patients to drink plenty of water, and have the prescribed over-the-counter medications to ease the symptoms of influenza.
Antiviral medications are available to treat influenza B virus infection. Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) are drugs that doctors may use to treat Influenza B virus. These medications help to block the virus from reproducing and can shorten the duration of symptoms and reduce the risk of complications.
Who are more susceptible to the illness?
Children under 5 years old, especially those younger than 2 years old
Adults 65 years old and above
Pregnant women or up to two weeks postpartum
People with weakened immune systems or certain chronic conditions
How does Influenza B transmit?
It can be easily transmitted when the person who has the influenza coughs, or sneezes, or when respiratory droplets are released.
How do you prevent getting this flu?
Annual flu shots are the most effective method of preventing the spread of influenza, said . They provide protection from three to four different influenza viruses during the flu season. Other measures to stop the spread include washing your hands regularly, avoiding large groups, covering your mouth while coughing or sneezing, and remaining at home for 24 hours to keep the fever under control.