The emergence of an unlikely strain of influenza has sickened and killed an unusually high number of young people this flu season, according to doctors and public health experts.
Most people hospitalized with the flu in Los Angeles County this season have been under 45, said Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, the county public health department’s chief medical officer. That age group has also made up an unexpectedly large portion of the county’s flu deaths, he said.
“I don’t really understand this,” Gunzenhauser said in an interview. “It’s very unusual.”
Influenza B, the most common strain of flu this season, tends to make more young people sick than Influenza A, which is typically circulating during flu season, experts say. In the United States, it has been nearly 30 years since Influenza B was the most common flu virus infecting people.
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