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Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year. Every year in the United States, on average 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu; more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications, and; about 36,000 people die from flu-related causes. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications.
Rare genetic mutation explains why flu can kill in rare cases

Rare genetic mutation explains why flu can kill in rare cases

Nobody likes getting the flu, but for some people, fluids and rest aren't enough. A small number of children who catch the influenza virus fall so ill they end up in the hospital — perhaps needing ventilators to breathe — even while their family and friends recover easily. New research by Rockefeller University scientists, published March 26 in Science, helps explain why: a rare genetic mutation. [More]
Pathogen may cause high levels of virulence in closely-related hosts

Pathogen may cause high levels of virulence in closely-related hosts

When viruses such as influenza and Ebola jump from one species to another, their ability to cause harm can change dramatically, but research from the University of Cambridge shows that it may be possible to predict the virus's virulence by looking at how deadly it is in closely-related species. [More]
New vaccine for post exposure treatment of rabies infection enters human clinical trial

New vaccine for post exposure treatment of rabies infection enters human clinical trial

Yisheng Biopharma Co., Ltd., a biopharmaceutical company focusing on the research, development, manufacturing, sales and marketing of vaccine products, announced that a new vaccine for the post exposure treatment of the rabies infection was entering human clinical trial after a six-year long collaboration with a number of research institutes worldwide. [More]
Flu vaccine based upon four strains of inactivated influenza enhances flu protection

Flu vaccine based upon four strains of inactivated influenza enhances flu protection

A flu vaccine given just under the surface of the skin that includes four strains of inactivated influenza could be more protective than a similar flu vaccine containing only three strains, Saint Louis University research found. [More]
Advanced clinical decision support tools reduce mortality for pneumonia patients

Advanced clinical decision support tools reduce mortality for pneumonia patients

A new study by Intermountain Medical Center researchers in Salt Lake City found that using advanced clinical decision support tools reduces mortality for the 1.1 million patients in the Unites States who are treated for pneumonia each year. [More]
Advanced clinical decision support tools help reduce mortality for pneumonia patients

Advanced clinical decision support tools help reduce mortality for pneumonia patients

A new study by Intermountain Medical Center researchers in Salt Lake City found that using advanced clinical decision support tools reduces mortality for the 1.1 million patients in the Unites States who are treated for pneumonia each year. [More]
Adults only really catch flu about twice a decade, suggests study

Adults only really catch flu about twice a decade, suggests study

Adults over the age of 30 only catch flu about twice a decade, a new study suggests. Flu-like illness can be caused by many pathogens, making it difficult to assess how often people are infected by influenza. [More]
Life expectancy for Spaniards increases due to 'cardiovascular revolution'

Life expectancy for Spaniards increases due to 'cardiovascular revolution'

Over the last century, life expectancy for Spaniards has increased by 40 years. A study by the International University of La Rioja highlights the main cause, since 1980, as being the reduced incidence of cardiovascular diseases while other pathologies, such as mental illnesses and certain types of cancer, have been seen to rise. The authors predict that the effects of the economic recession on mortality will show up in the long-term. [More]
Kansas State researchers preparing for next potential influenza strain

Kansas State researchers preparing for next potential influenza strain

As seasonal influenza cases decrease across the United States, Kansas State University researchers are preparing for the next potential virulent strain of flu. [More]
New antibody provides 100% protection against H5N1 influenza virus in animal models

New antibody provides 100% protection against H5N1 influenza virus in animal models

Since 2003, the H5N1 influenza virus, more commonly known as the bird flu, has been responsible for the deaths of millions of chickens and ducks and has infected more than 650 people, leading to a 60 percent mortality rate for the latter. Luckily, this virus has yet to achieve human-to-human transmission, but a small number of mutations could change that, resulting in a pandemic. [More]
Study points respiratory viruses as the most common cause of childhood pneumonia

Study points respiratory viruses as the most common cause of childhood pneumonia

Respiratory viruses, not bacterial infections, are the most commonly detected causes of community-acquired pneumonia in children, according to new research released Feb. 26 in the New England Journal of Medicine. [More]
Researchers examine individuals' confidence or reluctance in vaccination decision-making

Researchers examine individuals' confidence or reluctance in vaccination decision-making

Researchers explore individuals' confidence or reluctance to vaccinate their families and the associated effects on global health, in a collection published on February 25, 2015 by the open-access journal, PLOS Currents: Outbreaks. The collection is accompanied by the editorial "Hesitancy, trust and individualism in vaccination decision-making" by Jonathan E. Suk et al. from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. [More]
Gates Foundation awards $2.5 million to support development of vaccine-filled microneedles

Gates Foundation awards $2.5 million to support development of vaccine-filled microneedles

The Georgia Institute of Technology and Micron Biomedical have been awarded $2.5 million in grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to advance the development of dissolvable microneedle patches for polio immunization. The patches will be studied to evaluate their potential role as part of the worldwide efforts to eradicate polio. [More]
Medicago receives task order from HHS BARDA to manufacture anti-Ebola virus monoclonal antibodies

Medicago receives task order from HHS BARDA to manufacture anti-Ebola virus monoclonal antibodies

Medicago, a leading company in the development and production of plant-based vaccines and therapeutics, announced today that it has received a task order from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for three anti-Ebola virus monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) with expected performance comparable to that of ZMapp, from Mapp Biopharmaceutical. [More]
Study: Airport screening for disease often misses infected travellers, but can be improved

Study: Airport screening for disease often misses infected travellers, but can be improved

Scientists have shown that airport screening for disease will often miss half or more of infected travellers, but can be improved by customizing to pathogens. [More]
IDRI Announces $4M BARDA Cooperative Agreement To Establish Adjuvant Hub

IDRI Announces $4M BARDA Cooperative Agreement To Establish Adjuvant Hub

The international outbreak of Ebola in 2014 serves as a reminder for the need to be proactive in preparing for the rapid spread of any newly emerging or re-emerging infectious disease. IDRI today announces it has received $4 million in funding from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to develop an adjuvant manufacturing hub with both preclinical and clinical expertise to facilitate pandemic influenza preparedness in developing countries. [More]
Training modules for emergency department staff to treat infectious disease patients available on CDC's website

Training modules for emergency department staff to treat infectious disease patients available on CDC's website

Four Web-based training modules developed by Johns Hopkins Medicine for emergency department personnel who treat patients with infectious diseases are now available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. [More]
UT Southwestern researchers identify common signaling mechanism that controls immune system

UT Southwestern researchers identify common signaling mechanism that controls immune system

UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have identified a common signaling mechanism to produce interferon - one of the main proteins used to signal the immune system when the body needs to defend itself against a virus, tumor, or other diseases. [More]
New antibody shows promise in increasing survival for patients suffering from influenza, pneumonia

New antibody shows promise in increasing survival for patients suffering from influenza, pneumonia

Scientists from NTU Singapore, the world's No. 1 young university, have developed an antibody which boosts the survival chances for patients suffering from influenza and pneumonia. [More]
Immune system exploits flu virus' dependence on host's machinery

Immune system exploits flu virus' dependence on host's machinery

Viruses are masters of outsourcing, entrusting their fundamental function - reproduction - to the host cells they infect. But it turns out this highly economical approach also creates vulnerability. [More]
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