Influenza Type B

What is Influenza Type B?

Influenza type B, also called flu type B, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza B virus. Symptoms of type B flu are similar to those of type A flu, but type B flu symptoms tend to be milder. It’s usually seen in children and is more common in the winter and early spring months. It’s much less severe than type A flu, but the virus can still cause serious illnesses.

Symptoms of Influenza Type B

Typical symptoms of type B influenza can include:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Treatment of Influenza Type B

The best way to treat type B flu is to get lots of rest, drink plenty of fluids, and take over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to reduce fever and muscle aches. Antiviral medications such as Tamiflu (oseltamivir) may be prescribed for more severe cases. Vaccines against type B flu are available for children and teens.

Prevention of Influenza Type B

The best way to prevent type B influenza is to get the flu shot every year. People should also practice good hygiene, such as washing their hands often with soap and water, and avoiding contact with people who are sick. People who are sick should stay home from work or school to avoid spreading the virus to others.