It's that time of year again-flu season. But this year the virus has a few surprises, and it's hitting kids the hardest.
The Centers for Disease Control says severe cases are being reported among children. New Jersey reported another flu related child death Monday.
The CDC says the culprit is not the same influenza A virus we have seen for the last 27 years. A comeback is being made by influenza B.
"There have been 32 pediatric deaths nationally, of which 21 are due to influenza B," said Dr. Jeffrey Jahre with St. Luke's. He said we are at the peak of a wicked flu season, one that has seen influenza B play a big role for the first time since 1993.
The hardest hit are kids, who Jahre says are contagious longer than adults, which explains why the flu can spread rapidly among children.
Jahre says prevention is key and it starts with a flu shot. Jahre says this year's flu shot does have some protection from influenza B and can be given to children starting at 6 months.
"People who get the vaccine can get influenza however it is also well known that if you do get influenza it's going to be a milder situation then if you had not gotten your vaccination," Dr. Jahre said.
Jahre says the key to staying healthy is making sure children and people with vulnerable immune systems get a flu shot. He says they might still get the flu, but it won't be as bad or last as long.