Category Archives: Influenza

Pandemic influenza | Avian flu | bird flu | Spanish flu | SARS
Include any kind of influenza where there may be a possibility of transmission to humans.

TGen and NAU patent for new pandemic flu test is approved

(The Translational Genomics Research Institute 8 October 2014) The federal government has awarded a patent to the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Northern Arizona University (NAU) for a test that can detect — and assist in the treatment of — the H1N1 pandemic flu strain. TGen and NAU initially developed this precise, genomics-based test during a significant global swine flu outbreak in 2009.

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Candidate H7N9 avian flu vaccine works better with adjuvant

(NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases 7 October 2014) An experimental vaccine to protect people against H7N9 avian influenza prompted immune responses in 59 percent of volunteers who received two injections at the lowest dosage tested, but only if the vaccine was mixed with adjuvant — substance that boosts the body’s response to vaccination. Without adjuvant, immune responses produced by the investigational vaccine were minimal regardless of vaccine dosage, according to findings from a clinical trial sponsored by NIAID, part of NIH.

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Studies examine vaccination strategies for prevention, control of avian flu

(The JAMA Network Journals 7 October 2014) Two randomized trials in the October 8 issue of JAMA examine new vaccination strategies for the prevention and control of avian influenza, often referred to as ‘bird flu.’ This is a theme issue on infectious disease.

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‘Virological penicillin': Plant MIR2911 directly targets influenza A viruses

(Nanjing University School of Life Sciences 6 October 2014) In a new study, Chen-Yu Zhang’s group at Nanjing University present an extremely novel finding that a plant microRNA, MIR2911, which is enriched in honeysuckle, directly targets influenza A viruses (IAV) including H1N1, H5N1 and H7N9. Drinking of honeysuckle soup can prevent IAV infection and reduce H5N1-induced mice death.

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Millions of patients given flu drugs with little or no benefit, study finds

The Guardian Melissa Davey 7 October 2014

Millions of patients may have taken influenza drugs that have little or no benefit to them, according to an Australian-led study.
The study found that researchers paid by pharmaceutical companies were more likely to recommend antiviral drugs for flu and produced different recommendations to independent researchers conducting the reviews.
The study analysed 26 systematic reviews, a type of study considered to be the gold standard of evidence because they assess all existing studies on a topic using stringent guidelines.

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Annals of Internal Medicine abstract link

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A Townsville swine flu survivor has warned of the dangers of the strain that came within an inch of claiming his life.

Townsville Bulletin JOSH ALSTON  October 09, 2014

SWINE flu infections have ­almost tripled compared to 2013 and a Townsville survivor has warned of the dangers of the strain that came within an inch of claiming his life.
The virus that caused a ­global pandemic in 2009 is experiencing a resurgence.
In 2013 Queensland Health recorded 696 instances of H1N1 influenza or swine flu.
This year, according to The Queensland Health Influenza Weekly Surveillance Report, the state has recorded 1964 cases. That includes 44 cases at the Townsville Hospital.

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Ebola isn’t the big one. So what is? And are we ready for it?

The Guardian Nicky Woolf 3 October 2014

Humanity is locked in a millennia-old battle to the death with diseases. The current outbreak of Ebola reminds us that as our cities get bigger and international travel easier, the risks in an outbreak grow even higher.

Though Ebola has a high fatality rate when contracted, it is not the thing that keeps most epidemiologists up at night. It could theoretically become pandemic – that is, an out-of-control global epidemic – but experts say that is unlikely.

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