Caused by flu viruses, influenza is an infection of the respiratory system. There are three types of influenza viruses—A, B, and C. Each has different levels of severity and the treatment too varies accordingly. The symptoms and severity of influenza type A and B are nearly similar, while influenza type C is fairly mild. Read on to know more about what is the influenza type B virus, its causes, symptoms, and risk factors.
Causes of influenza type B
Flu caused by influenza type B virus is highly contagious and spreads from person to person. This is why flu outbreaks are commonly observed during a particular season, especially during winter. The flu spreads through droplets from a sneeze or cough of the person who is infected by the virus. In certain cases, the virus can spread by breathing in aerosols, which are small air particles. These particles have been known to travel nearly six feet after they have been exhaled by an infected person.
Symptoms of influenza type B
Influenza type B virus affects the respiratory as well as the digestive system. Some of the common symptoms include fever, chills, sore throat, coughing, runny nose, sneezing, fatigue, muscle aches, and body pain. The symptoms are often similar to a common cold. On the onset of flu, the respiratory system experiences congestion. A person will also experience a sore throat just before the flu hits them completely. There may be fever as high as 106F. Furthermore, a person with influenza type B flu may also experience chills, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and weakness.
People with asthma need to be extremely careful and seek treatments as soon as possible. This is because influenza type B virus triggers asthma attacks and the symptoms become very severe. If flu caused by this virus is not treated on time, it may lead to many health complications such as sepsis, heart inflammation, kidney failure, respiratory failure, bronchitis, and pneumonia.
There are specific groups of people who may have a higher susceptibility to flu caused by influenza type B virus. Children between the ages of 2 years and 5 years have a high risk of contracting this flu. Similarly, adults who are older than 65 years are at a high risk. Residents of long-term care facilities and nursing homes are also susceptible to influenza flu due to the lack of fresh air and staying in air-conditioned rooms for long hours. Other risk factors include a weak immune system, obesity, and chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, liver disease, and kidney disease. Pregnant women and women who are two weeks into postpartum are also highly susceptible to influenza type B virus.