influenza

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100-Year-Old Antiseptic Could Battle Viruses and Superbugs

It does double duty, binding to DNA of both patients and bacteria

(Newser) - An antiseptic that German scientists invented in 1912 using coal tar has the potential to help treat and prevent both viral and bacterial infections, according to new research out of the Hudson Institute of Medical Research in Australia. Acriflavine was used throughout both world wars as a shotgun approach to... More »

Our Bodies Fight Off Illness Far Better in the Mornings

Some viruses and pathogens even manipulate our molecular 'clockwork' to up their chance of thriving

(Newser) - Studies have suggested that the time of day one receives a flu shot can actually affect how effective it is, and now University of Cambridge researchers are reporting in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that our immune systems are better at fighting off viruses and pathogens at... More »

Report: Flu Vaccine Nasal Spray Is Highly Ineffective

Bad news, kids

(Newser) - Bad news for needle-hating kids and their accommodating parents: the popular flu vaccine nasal spray FluMist is “ineffective and should not be used in the upcoming flu season," the New York Times reports. That's according to an advisory committee's recommendation to the CDC on Wednesday. FluMist... More »

This Might Be Why You Get Sick When You're Off Work

Explaining 'leisure sickness'

(Newser) - There’s a term for that cold you’re going to get when you take a few days off work this holiday season: leisure sickness. And, while there are no medical studies to confirm the phenomenon, a Dutch psychologist published findings in 2002 that 3% of 1,900 people polled... More »

MIT Scientists Figure Out What Happens When We Sneeze

They map out how mucus and saliva break into droplets

(Newser) - A sneeze is not just a sneeze. It is a "high-propulsion" cloud of mucus and saliva that spreads across entire rooms, even reaching ceilings and the ventilation ducts found there, in a matter of minutes. MIT researchers first gained attention last year with these findings, reports CBS Boston , and... More »

Feds: Flu Vaccine Should Work Better This Year

Last year's vaccine was less than half as effective as usual

(Newser) - As you may have experienced firsthand, last year's flu vaccine didn't work very well. The most prevalent flu strain mutated after the vaccine had already been made, catching the CDC off guard and resulting in a vaccine that was less than half as effective as normal and the... More »

Pa. Construction Worker Stumbles Onto Mass Grave

Bones probably date to 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic

(Newser) - A construction worker may have unearthed a mass grave while digging last week on private property in Schuylkill Haven, Pa. Local historians say the bones could very well belong to those who died during the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic, which wiped out 1,600 people in a month in this... More »

Study: Here's How Often You'll Get the Flu

Researchers say kids tend to get the flu every 2 years, adults every 5

(Newser) - Historically, it's been challenging to pinpoint how often people get the flu, in part because most of us can't self diagnose it, thinking we have it when we don't or not knowing we have it when we do. Now researchers say they've found the answer—that... More »

Flu Shot May Not Protect You From This Year's Flu

This year's concoction isn't stemming H3N2 'variant' virus

(Newser) - You should still get a flu shot, CDC officials recommend—it just might not be as effective as they'd hoped, NBC News reports. Most cases of the virus this year are the result of a mutated variation of the H3N2 strain —so far this season's most commonly... More »

Isolated Tribe Makes First Contact, Promptly Catches Flu

The 5 men, 2 women all contracted influenza in matter of days

(Newser) - When an isolated tribe emerged from the Amazon in recent weeks and initiated contact with Brazilian scientists in the village of Ashaninka near the Peruvian border, some called the move "potentially tragic" —and, indeed, though they were quickly quarantined for their own safety, all five men and two... More »

Lab Revives History's Deadliest Flu Virus

Scientists blast 'crazy' pandemic experiments

(Newser) - Researchers in a Wisconsin lab have created a mutant, highly infectious version of the "Spanish Flu" that killed around 50 million people in 1918—and if you think that sounds completely insane, there are a lot of scientists who agree with you. The University of Wisconsin researchers argue that... More »

Pregnant Woman Killed by Flu

Leslie Creekmore's doctor told her to put off getting a flu shot

(Newser) - An Arkansas woman who lost her unborn baby last month after contracting the H1N1 flu virus has died. Leslie Creekmore, 29, had been hospitalized first in Arkansas then transferred to St. Louis in mid-January, where a hospital spokesperson confirmed she had died Monday. Just two days after she was moved... More »

Swine Flu's 2009 Death Toll Not 19K—It Was 203K

New research finds H1N1 epidemic killed 10 times more than estimated

(Newser) - WHO initially reported 18,631 lab-confirmed deaths from 2009's "swine flu" epidemic—but a new study by epidemiologists finds that H1N1 actually killed as many as 203,000 people. The researchers looked at respiratory deaths in 20 countries and then used that data to calculate a global figure.... More »

Have Scientists Unlocked the Flu's Secret?

Researchers may have figured out how the virus infects a person

(Newser) - With flu season upon us, a new study might’ve figured out exactly how the virus infects a person. Researchers at the Whitehead Institute of Biomedical Research used mice to examine the immune system’s response to the flu. Typically, the immune system works by identifying a virus when it... More »

Flu During Pregnancy Hikes Risk of Bipolar Baby

But risk is pretty small regardless

(Newser) - Apparently getting sick while you're pregnant sucks in even more ways than you realized. Children are more likely to develop bipolar disorder later in life if their mothers caught the flu while pregnant, a new study published yesterday in JAMA Psychiatry suggests. The effect is fairly small, amounting to... More »

This Year's Flu Shot Isn't Protecting Seniors

It helps in just 9% of cases, says CDC

(Newser) - Senior citizens who got the flu shot this year needn't have bothered, reports USA Today . For those ages 65 and older, this year's vaccine helped in just 9% of cases against the predominant strain, a percentage deemed to be statistically insignificant by the CDC. Factoring in all ages,... More »

Scientists Revive Bird Flu Research Amid Contagion Fear

But US funding not quite ready

(Newser) - Bird flu experts decided to shut down their research last year over government concerns that samples could cause contagion outside the lab. Now, some 40 scientists—in countries which have set up research guidelines—are set to dive back into their investigations, they say. The US hasn't established its... More »

Only Tennessee, Hawaii Still Escaping Flu

But CDC says it's on the wane in some areas

(Newser) - Nine more children or teens have died of the flu, bringing the nation's total this season to 29, health officials said today. In a typical season, about 100 children die of the flu, so it is not known whether this year will be better or worse than usual. (This... More »

Flu Spreads to 47 States

But it seems to decline in some places

(Newser) - The CDC rolled out a mix of good news/bad news on this year's flu outbreak today:
  • The bad: The number of states reporting widespread activity rose from 41 to 47 over the week. The far West (Arizona, California, Nevada, Guam, and Hawaii) has largely escaped the brunt of it
... More »

Boston Declares Flu Emergency

City has seen four deaths among the elderly

(Newser) - Move Boston to the top of the list of cities getting slammed by this year's unusually severe flu . The city declared a public health emergency today, reports the Boston Herald . Officials made the move in part to encourage residents to get flu shots, and the city was working with... More »

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