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Flu News

Bird migration patterns contain clues to bird flu risks

Edinburgh - Avian flu remains an ever-present risk. According to new research, monitoring the migration routes of wild birds should give an early warning of potential bird flu outbreaks.

Meet the new virus named influenza D

A virus, relatively newly detected, that affects cattle has been given a new name: influenza D. The reason for the new naming is because of the virus is distinct from other influenza types — A, B and C.

It’s all in the genes: Why some chickens are bird flu resistant

Lincoln - Combating the risks associated with bird flu is of global importance. While some research focuses on treatment, and other parts on addressing transmission, another strand looks at patterns of susceptibility.

Skin cancer drug is effective against flu, HIV & Ebola

A skin cancer drug, currently undergoing clinical trial, could be effective against a range of other diseases. These include viral infections like influenza and HIV. We look at this and bring a round-up of other drug development news.

Bird flu scare hits French foie gras production

Paris - Already assailed by animal-rights groups, France's foie gras industry now faces a fight on a second front: bird flu.

Acetaminophen is ineffective against flu

To help with flu symptoms, some medical doctors recommend patients take acetaminophen, or paracetamol, to relieve their symptoms. A study shows no benefits from taking the drug.

New call to assess Tamiflu

London - U.K. experts have urged that new trials be conducted to see if the anti-flu drug Tamiflu can really help save lives in a pandemic. Use of the drug, and its relative cost, have proved controversial in the past.

New understanding for how flu viruses spread

There are several ideas as to why flu spreads easier with some people than others. In an unexpected twist, researchers have found that a soft palate is an important site for shaping of airborne transmissibility.

Flu jab less successful last season

London - The flu jab given out last winter in the U.K. was effective in only 34 percent of cases, according to a final report by Public Health England.

Long-lasting flu vaccine in development

Researchers have published successful data on their quest to develop a 'universal' flu vaccine. Trials relating to animal studies have recently been reported.

Pneumonia is a growing cause of hospitalization in U.S.

Washington - Pneumonia is one of the leading causes of hospitalization among adults in the U.S., to the extent that the medical costs exceeded $10 billion. It is also a major reason for death.

Scientists on verge of lifelong total flu vaccine

Scientists could have finally found a universal cure for all types of influenza. Instead of the often, ineffective annual jabs, they may soon be able to produce a one-off, lifelong injection against all strains of this distressing and often fatal disease.

Effectiveness of Tamiflu reviewed again

The somewhat controversial antiviral drug Tamiflu has performed better in a recent study compared to previous inquiries.

Mom was right, it is best to wrap up warm in the winter

Wrap up warm or you’ll catch a cold is a common saying. There may be an element of truth to this for the cold causing virus is more virulent in cold temperatures when compared with warmer ones.

H7N9 strain mutated from chicken flu virus

Beijing - Scientists have demonstrated how changes in a flu virus common to Chinese poultry farms triggered the rise of the novel avian H7N9 influenza A virus that has sickened hundreds of people since 2013.

Bay Area county urges unvaccinated residents to get flu shots

Fairfield - Increasing flu activity in the San Francisco Bay Area has prompted health officials in Solano County to remind residents that there's still time to get vaccinated against current strains of the virus.

Flu cases at highest level for three years

Throughout the U.K., flu is circulating at its highest level for three years. The predominant type of flu virus - H3N2 - is a significantly different variant from the viral strain seen in high numbers last winter.

Ferrets provide flu clues

It has been discovered that ferrets share a mutation that was once considered unique to humans. The mutation explains why ferrets have the same susceptibility as people to the influenza A virus.

China bird flu death reported as 2014 toll rises

Bejing - A man has died from the H7N9 bird flu strain in eastern China, state media reported Monday, at the end of a year in which cases of the virus have accelerated.The deceased man was one of two recent cases reported in the city of Yongkang in Zhejiang.

Japan culls 42,000 chickens after second bird flu outbreak

Toukyo - Japan on Monday ordered the slaughter of some 42,000 chickens after officials confirmed the country's second bird flu outbreak in less than a month.

Hong Kong raises bird flu alert level as woman critical

Hong Kong - Hong Kong hospitals raised alert levels Sunday as a woman diagnosed with the deadly H7N9 avian flu virus was in a critical condition.

New bird flu case in Netherlands

Den Haag - Dutch authorities reported a new outbreak of bird flu Sunday on a western poultry farm, but could not say if it was the worrying new strain detected elsewhere in the country.

Why are some flu viruses more dangerous than others?

Certain types of avian influenza viruses have the potential to cause more severe disease in humans compared with others. This has come from new research which warns such viruses must be monitored carefully.

New bird flu case in Germany

Berlin - A worrying new strain of bird flu has been observed for the first time in a wild bird in northern Germany, the agriculture ministry said Saturday.

WHO braces for bird flu spread in European poultry

Geneva - The World Health Organization cautioned Tuesday that a new kind of bird flu hitting European poultry farms would spread among birds, after Britain confirmed its outbreak was of the same strain as in the Netherlands and Germany.

'Contagious' bird flu outbreaks on Dutch, British farms

Hekendorp - Dutch officials were on Monday checking poultry farms for a highly infectious strain of bird flu following outbreaks of similar strains of the virus in Britain and Germany.

New flu threat for cattle and pigs

Pierre - A new influenza virus threat has emerged for pigs and cows. The new virus is distinct and it is called Type D Influenza.

How likely is a flu pandemic?

London - A leading scientist argues that because our ability to detect flu pandemics has increased, society should not become complacent to the risks that flu pandemics pose.

Flu can make bacterial infections worse

New research suggests that influenza infection can result in the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae becoming more infectious, leading to a greater risk to ear and throat infections.

Gut microbes affect flu vaccine effectiveness

Atlanta - Researchers have discovered that the composition of the microorganisms in the gut affect effectivity of the seasonal flu vaccine. This potentially means that your gut bacteria affect how effective the vaccine will be within your own body.
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Flu Image

The current flu season started in November and is expected to last through April of 2015.
The current flu season started in November and is expected to last through April of 2015.
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U. S. map for Weekly Influenza Activity  produced by the CDC.
Week ending December 28  2013.
U. S. map for Weekly Influenza Activity, produced by the CDC. Week ending December 28, 2013.
CDC
Weekly flu activity  week ending December 28  2013. 
Produced by the Centers for Disease Control an...
Weekly flu activity, week ending December 28, 2013. Produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CDC
Scanning electron microscope (SEM) image of the Avian Flu Virus
Scanning electron microscope (SEM) image of the Avian Flu Virus
Zygote
A sneeze in progress
A sneeze in progress
CDC
Colorized transmission electron micrograph of Avian influenza A H5N1 viruses
Colorized transmission electron micrograph of Avian influenza A H5N1 viruses
Cynthia Goldsmith
Health officials in protective suits put a goose into a sack as part of preventive measures against ...
Health officials in protective suits put a goose into a sack as part of preventive measures against the H7N9 bird flu at a poultry market in Zhuji, Zhejiang province, China
With permission by Reuters
Maureen MacDonald  Minister of Health Promotion and Protection receiving her flu shot.
Maureen MacDonald, Minister of Health Promotion and Protection receiving her flu shot.
Nova Scotia Government website
Hantavirus particles
Hantavirus particles
Public Library of Science
A CDC scientist uses a pipette to transfer H7N9 virus into vials for sharing with partner laboratori...
A CDC scientist uses a pipette to transfer H7N9 virus into vials for sharing with partner laboratories for public health research purposes.
CDC
This (Pseudocolored) negative-stained (false-colored) transmission electron micrograph (TEM) depicts...
This (Pseudocolored) negative-stained (false-colored) transmission electron micrograph (TEM) depicts the ultrastructural details of an influenza virus particle, or “virion”. A member of the taxonomic family Orthomyxoviridae, the influenza virus is a single-stranded RNA organism
: Cynthia Goldsmith
The CDC is recommending that pregnant women get the flu vaccine to protect themselves and their unbo...
The CDC is recommending that pregnant women get the flu vaccine to protect themselves and their unborn children.
CDC
Men enter the Arlington Convention Center to receive their H1N1 flu vaccinations in Arlington  Texas
Men enter the Arlington Convention Center to receive their H1N1 flu vaccinations in Arlington, Texas
With permission by Reuters / Jessica Rinaldi
Sign affixed to a restroom mirror at the Microsoft campus  Building 19.
Sign affixed to a restroom mirror at the Microsoft campus, Building 19.
Wade Rockett
Untitled
Family Freedom Health Network
Tom Frieden  M.D.  M.P.H.  director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  led by exampl...
Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, led by example and got his flu vaccination at the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases news conference
NFID
More than 200 000 Americans like Luke are hospitalized from the flu each year.
More than 200,000 Americans like Luke are hospitalized from the flu each year.
Fighting Flu