If you survived the last few months unscathed by fever, chills and a husband with the flu (shudder), then you might think you are out of the woods. Unfortunately, a second wave of the 2018 flu season is coming public health officials have warned.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), despite the fact that flu season has passed its peak, a second strain of influenza has taken over. While this particularly harsh season of the flu was dominated by the H3N2 virus, an influenza A strain, a less severe B strain is now spreading. The worst part is, if you already had the flu this year you can still get it again since this is a different strain.

Luckily the B strain responds better to the vaccine, so if you got the flu shot you’ve got a fighting chance. The CDC estimates that this year’s shot was 42% effective against the B strain. Much better odds than the 25% effective rate against the A strain.

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If you didn’t get the flu shot yet, it’s not too late. With flu activity still being reported nationwide, you can still get a shot and get protected against the second strain until this too long season finally comes to an end.

Did you escape the flu this year? Share your thoughts in the comments.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

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