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Influenza News

Op-Ed: Viruses are adapting faster than the vaccines

If the next pandemic is inevitable, and if entire categories of cancer are known to originate from infections, should society not be investing more money more urgently into viral research - or are we comfortable relying on vaccinations?

The state of bird flu in North America

Bird flu appears to be on the rise across North America. Farmers detect H5N8 in a commercial turkey flock in California, while Canadian officials document the first known human importation of H7N9 to the country.

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.

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.

Bird flu case in the U.K.

York - A case of bird flu has been detected at a duck breeding farm in East Yorkshire, England. It is the U.K.'s first confirmed case of avian influenza since 2008.

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.

Avian influenza virus carried by seals poses a risk to people

The avian influenza A H3N8 virus found in harbor seals can potentially spread through respiratory droplets and therefore it poses a threat to humans. This is according to a new study.

Is MERS airborne?

Researchers detect traces of the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus in the air of a barn housing an infected camel.

Thousands of patients misprescribed antibiotics

During the 2013 flu season a new report highlights that antibiotics were inappropriately given to a large proportion of patients with influenza (a viral disease that is not helped by taking antibiotics).

Ginseng can treat the flu

Atlanta - Ginseng can help treat and prevent the flu and other respiratory viruses that infect the lungs and breathing passages, according to new research findings.

New flu target identified

A protein produced by the flu virus helps it outwit one of our body's natural defense mechanisms. This makes the protein a potentially good target for antiviral drugs directed against the influenza A virus.

Sea otters can ‘get the flu’

Research suggests that Northern sea otters living off the coast of Washington state were infected with the same H1N1 flu virus. Thus the findings suggest that human flu can infect sea otters.

The failure and cost of Tamiflu

London - Hundreds of millions of dollars may have been wasted in the U.K. on a drug for flu that works no better than paracetamol, according to a new scientific report.

Scientists may shortly be able to predict the flu

Scientists have developed a formula that can predict the evolution of the seasonal flu for the next year. This will allow health providers to prepare and the public to be aware of the most serious instances of flu.

Flu pandemic of 1918 came from birds

The strain of influenza that caused the 1918 flu pandemic (Spanish flu) probably came from birds, according to a new study.

New CDC report shows more U.S. flu activity

Every season, flu causes on average 200,000 Americans to go to the hospital and kills thousands to tens of thousands of people, according to the U.S. CDC. This is the startling headline in a new report about flu.

Recent flu vaccine efficacy estimate higher in Canada than Spain

Canadian researchers estimate that this season's flu vaccine is about 70 percent effective so far, which is much higher than the recent 24 percent estimate reported by a Spanish team.

Predicting seasonal flu by genetics

The differences in the seasonal flu strains relate to tiny mutations in the influenza virus genes. However, major pandemics are connected to major genetic shifts. By studying these differences, scientists hope to predict the seriousness of the flu season.

New bird flu threat

The Chinese government has reported the first two human cases of H10N8 avian influenza. One case is linked to the death of a 73-year-old woman.

Can H7N9 bird flu spread between people?

The death of a medical worker in China has prompted concern that the avian flu virus can spread between humans. This follows a second presumed case of human-to-human transfer.

Nanotechnology could fight influenza

Researchers are developing an advanced type of nanotechnology that “traps” viruses before they can infect host cells. This is designed to reduce the rate of flu infections.

Is Tamiflu any good? Hidden data makes the answer difficult

How effective is Tamiflu? According to a U.K. parliamentary committee, no one really knows because the drugmakers have not disclosed enough data on the anti-influenza medicine.
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Influenza Image

Colorized transmission electron micrograph of Avian influenza A H5N1 viruses
Colorized transmission electron micrograph of Avian influenza A H5N1 viruses
Cynthia Goldsmith
A woman sneezing.
A woman sneezing.
PixShark
A view through Lush s shop window in town (Southampton). This would be nice to find under my xmas tr...
A view through Lush's shop window in town (Southampton). This would be nice to find under my xmas tree - might be a bit pongy though. (Thoughts of Angie Muldowney)
Angie Muldowney
Untitled
Family Freedom Health Network
A closer look at three of our children in bed with the flu  looking suitably miserable. Thomas Muell...
A closer look at three of our children in bed with the flu, looking suitably miserable. Thomas Mueller, Feb. 29, 2008
thomaspetermueller
DRACO successfully treats viral infections. The microscope images show that in the left set of four ...
DRACO successfully treats viral infections. The microscope images show that in the left set of four photos, rhinovirus (the common cold virus) kills untreated human cells (lower left), whereas DRACO has no toxicity in uninfected cells (upper right) and cures an infected cell population (lower right). In the right set of four photos, dengue hemorrhagic fever virus kills untreated monkey cells (lower left), whereas DRACO has no toxicity in uninfected cells (upper right) and cures an infected cell
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
PREVENTATIVE: A U.S. Navy medical technician administers the flu vaccine to a sailor aboard the USS ...
PREVENTATIVE: A U.S. Navy medical technician administers the flu vaccine to a sailor aboard the USS John C. Stennis in 2010.
Patrick Dille/Wikimedia Commons
Speculation is swirling around the drug Tamiflu and whether it truly works to fight influenza
Speculation is swirling around the drug Tamiflu and whether it truly works to fight influenza
hongiiv
Vaccine
Vaccine
Indiana Public Media