X

Why Everyone Should Get Random Flu Shots

May hit disease at weak point, increase chance of random extinction event
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2013 9:16 AM CDT
Why Everyone Should Get Random Flu Shots
Stephanie Dugger, 20, of Apache Junction, gets a flu shot from nurse Bhagwati Bhakta at Mollen Immunization Clinics in Scottsdale, Ariz.   (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Cheryl Evans)

(Newser) – If you missed getting your flu shot, it's not the end of the world. In fact, random treatment times may actually help manage a disease outbreak in the long run. New research suggests that when treatments are given twice a year, six months apart, a disease has time to regain strength. But when random doses fall closer together, the disease can be hit in a weak state, Scientific American reports. Not only that, changing things up also increases the likelihood of a random extinction event—a very rare case when an outbreak dies out suddenly due to unpredictable factors.

story continues below

Researchers came to the conclusion using a computer simulation to deliver treatment of infectious diseases among 8,000 people two different ways: in regular intervals, and randomly. When treatment was given two to eight times a year, a disease died out far quicker using the random program. And it's news that may have huge implications for how treatments are given in developing countries where resources are low, Scientific American suggests. Rather than treat a few people regularly, irregular doses to a larger group may work best. (Read more infectious diseases stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
X
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.

X