Myositis cluster linked to surge in influenza B

A RISE of influenza B in the community may be to blame for a cluster of cases of flu-related myositis in Melbourne, an expert says.

The calf muscle cramps were a well-recognised complication of the B strain, said Professor Robert Booy, head of clinical research at the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance, Sydney.

A school in the bayside suburb of Sandringham has reported eight cases of children with the flu experiencing myositis, prompting a public advisory in a bid to allay parental concerns that their children were temporarily unable to walk.

“I’m not surprised… influenza B normally comes late in the winter,” Professor Booy said.

“Myositis… is transient, and you generally get good recovery within a week or two – the problem is that pain in the calves prevents walking, but, as best we know, you recover well.”

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