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November 24, 1962


JAMA. 1962;182(8):862. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050470040011

In 1940, Type B influenza virus was recognized as a serologic type distinct from Type A. Because there is less variation among strains of Type B, the protection after infection lasts longer than after Type A infections. Since many individuals have some immunity to influenza B, it usually occurs in sporadic outbreaks, particularly in children, rather than in extensive epidemics, as is the case with influenza A. However, this past winter witnessed an epidemic of influenza B which was confirmed in 36 states from Washington to Florida by March, 1962.1

In this issue of The Journal (p. 834), a brief but explosive outbreak of illnesses due to Type B infection is described among children 5 through 19 years of age in a children's home. The institution was under surveillance for infectious disease so that detailed clinical, epidemiologic, and laboratory data were obtained. All children were observed in an infirmary