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.

Computer model forecasts flu outbreaks in a subtropical climate

EurekAlert 30 July 2015

Scientists at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the School of Public Health of Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong have shown for the first time that it is possible to predict the timing and intensity of influenza outbreaks in subtropical climates like Hong Kong where flu seasons can occur at different times and more than once during a year. Results appear online in the journal PLOS Computational Biology.

Read more http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-07/cums-cmf072715.php

View full text http://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article?id=10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004383

Surveillance dashboard (Hong Kong) http://dashboard.sph.hku.hk/en/

Queensland worst state for illness

Gold Coast Bulletin Tom Snowdon 27 July 2015

QUEENSLAND has become the flu capital of Australia and the situation is only expected to worsen, with cases traditionally jumping between July and August.

More than 5600 Queenslanders have already tested positive to influenza this year in laboratory tests, beating NSW’s 4077 cases and outstripping other states by as many as 5500.

Read more

Qld sniffles through highest flu count

Brisbane Times AAP July 8, 2015

Queensland’s total of 3940 cases so far in 2015 exceeds NSW (2845), South Australia (2696) and Victoria (2457).
It also represents a jump of about 1000 more cases for the state compared to 2014.
Nevertheless, Emergency Medicine Foundation (EMF) spokesperson Dr Anthony Bell says there’s been an uptick nationwide.
“Across Australia, we have already seen a 60 per cent increase in confirmed cases,” he said.
He urged people to take practical precautions, such as washing their hands regularly and getting the flu shot, to curb the virus’ spread.

Read at source

 

Flu hits record number of Australian patients as doctors urge taking advantage of free vaccine

ABC News 8 July 2015

Record numbers of Australians have been diagnosed with the flu this winter, prompting health authorities to renew warnings about vaccination.

Health Minister Sussan Ley said the latest figures showed more than 14,000 flu cases have been reported so far this year in Australia.

That compares to 9,258 cases at the same time last year.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-07-08/flu-hits-record-number-of-australian-patients/6602706

Discovery points to a new path toward a universal flu vaccine

(Rockefeller University 2 July 2015) The conventional flu vaccine requires annual shots to protect against only a few specific strains. However, researchers at Rockefeller University and their colleagues have shown that by including modified antibodies within the vaccine it may be possible to elicit broad protection against many strains simultaneously.

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Wistar scientists pinpoint mutations responsible for ineffective 2014-2015 flu vaccine

(The Wistar Institute 25 June 2015) Viruses like influenza have the ability to mutate over time, and given that the flu vaccines administered during the 2014-2015 season were largely ineffective at preventing the spread of the flu, it appears the virus that recently circulated had taken on mutations not accounted for when last year’s vaccine was developed. Now, researchers at The Wistar Institute identified specific mutations that influenza recently acquired to escape the current vaccine design.

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Early detection of highly pathogenic influenza viruses

(Justus Liebig University 23 June 2015) Lack of appropriate drugs and vaccines during the influenza A virus pandemic in 2009, the recent Ebola epidemic in West Africa, as well as the ongoing Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus outbreak demonstrates that the world is only insufficiently prepared for global attacks of emerging infectious diseases and that the handling of such threats remains a great challenge.

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