Influenza vaccination utensils. Photo: Christoph Soeder/picture alliance via Getty Images

A surprisingly early strain of the influenza B virus is responsible for 21 of the 32 pediatric deaths in this flu season, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Between the lines: Influenza B hasn't been a main cause for sickness in the U.S. for 27 years. It isn't as much of a risk to senior citizens, but tends to cause more complications in young children.

  • This season's vaccine includes influenza B but the variations in that strain may not be a great match, a common challenge researchers have with the flu vaccine each year.
  • Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, tells Axios it's too early to determine how effective the flu shot is this year, but officials emphasize the importance of partial protection.

Go deeper: The pandemic potential

Editor's note: This piece was updated to include more information on influenza B and the vaccine.

Go deeper

Trump signs 4 executive actions on coronavirus aid

President Trump speaking during a press conference on Aug. 8. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump on Saturday signed four executive actions to provide relief from economic damage sustained during the coronavirus pandemic after talks between the White House and Democratic leadership collapsed Friday afternoon.

Why it matters: Because the Constitution gives Congress the power to appropriate federal spending, Trump has limited authority to act unilaterally — and risks a legal challenge if congressional Democrats believe he has overstepped.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 19,451,097 — Total deaths: 722,835 — Total recoveries — 11,788,665Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2. p.m. ET: 4,968,413 — Total deaths: 161,858 — Total recoveries: 1,623,870 — Total tests: 60,415,558Map.
  3. Public health: Fauci says chances are "not great" that COVID-19 vaccine will be 98% effective.
  4. Science: Indoor air is the next coronavirus frontline.
  5. Schools: How back-to-school is playing out in the South as coronavirus rages on — Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Howard to hold fall classes online.
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What's next for Lebanon after the Beirut explosion

Photo: Houssam Shbaro/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Beirut residents are still clearing rubble from streets that appear war-torn, days after a blast that shocked the country and horrified the world.

Why it matters: The explosion is likely to accelerate a painful cycle Lebanon was already living through — discontent, economic distress, and emigration.