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Cases involving different flu strain rise nationally

It doesn't matter who you are or where you're from, this year's flu season is hitting hard.

NEW ORLEANS - While the peak of flu season has passed, health officials warn it's not over yet. Even if you've had the flu, they say you could catch a different strain and get sick again.

It doesn't matter who you are or where you're from, this year's flu season is hitting hard.

"Had no energy, just not feeling good at all," Adam Weister described.

"It was brutal," said Sarah LeBlanc.

Especially for LeBlanc, who unfortunately got it not once, but twice.

"Aches, pains, headache, dizziness, everything and it was 100 times worse than the times before," she said.

According to the CDC, since the flu started around October, the virus has been reported in about 48 states. It's sent thousands to the hospital and has resulted in the deaths of more than 130 children. In Louisiana, Dr. Fred Lopez, with LSU Health New Orleans, says this severe flu season is far from over.

"This has probably been the most active flu season we've seen since 2009," he said. "If you were infected earlier in the year with an A-Strain like the H3N2, and you think you're going to be protected from the B-Strain in the later part of the flu season you're not. You could be infected a second time with a different strain of flu virus."

Which is what some places are seeing now.

The season, which started predominantly with the more serious type-A Strain, is now seeing more cases of Influenza-B. Lopez says that change hasn't happened here just yet, but he warns it could, and encourages people get vaccinated.

"About 75% of the strains in the most recent report from the state of Louisiana are A-Strains," he said. "We know though that the flu virus vaccine this year actually contains the B-Strain as well as the A-Strains that've been seen already this year. So it should be protected and it should be more effective against the B-Strain."

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