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Related terms: Bird flu, H5N1

Flu Cases Starting to Spread: CDC

Posted 2 hours 28 minutes ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 20, 2017 – Flu activity continues to rise across the United States and there's been a slight uptick in the number of deaths in the last week, federal health officials reported Friday. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it's still not too late to get a flu shot. That's particularly important for the most vulnerable – the very young, the elderly, the chronically ill and pregnant women, officials said. "It would have been better to get vaccinated early, but there is still potential benefit from the vaccine," Lynnette Brammer, a CDC epidemiologist, said Friday. She said flu activity is "still going up – fairly slowly – but it's still increasing." "We are starting to see an increase in flu-related deaths," she added, "although deaths aren't at a level considered epidemic." The CDC doesn't track the number of adults who die from flu, but it does keep ... Read more

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Bird Flu Strain May Have Jumped From Cat to Human

Posted 23 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 23, 2016 – A veterinarian appears to have been infected with a strain of avian flu known as H7N2 that spread among more than 100 cats housed at New York City animal shelters. If confirmed, this would be the first known transmission of this bird flu strain from cat to human, officials said. New York City health officials said the vet has recovered from a mild illness, and there's no sign that the flu has spread to shelter workers or those who've adopted cats. Still, the city's top health official is calling for caution. "Our investigation confirms that the risk to human health from H7N2 is low, but we are urging New Yorkers who have adopted cats from a shelter or rescue group within the past three weeks to be alert for symptoms in their pets," city Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said in a health department news release. "We are contacting people who may have been ... Read more

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Just 40 Percent of Americans Vaccinated for Flu This Season

Posted 12 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 12, 2016 – Only about two out of five Americans had gotten this season's flu shot as of early November, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. About 37 percent of children between 6 months and 17 years old have gotten the flu vaccine this year. And approximately 41 percent of adults aged 18 and older have received the shot. The overall rate is similar to the vaccination rate at the same time last year, the CDC noted. "We are glad to see that people are making the decision to protect themselves and their families from flu, but coverage is still low and we urge people to get vaccinated if they haven't yet," said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "We have a tool that is proven to prevent flu illness and hospitalization, but millions of people are not taking advantage of it. Too many ... Read more

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More Pregnant Women Getting Flu Shot, But Improvement Needed

Posted 8 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 8, 2016 – Getting a flu shot during pregnancy can protect both a mom-to-be and her baby. And while the percentage of pregnant American women who got the vaccine has doubled in recent years, too many still go without the shot, researchers say. "Although the trend is encouraging, coverage still falls far short of the 2016 [U.S.] recommendation that all pregnant women who are or might become pregnant during flu season be vaccinated," according to a team led by Stephen Kerr, an epidemiologist at Boston University. Kerr's team has tracked data on vaccinations received during pregnancy for more than 5,300 U.S. women since 2005. The investigators found that in the flu seasons before the 2009-2010 H1N1 flu pandemic, only one in every five pregnant women in the study got an influenza vaccine. However, that number jumped to 33 percent of the women during the 2009-2010 flu ... Read more

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Are You Ready for Flu Season?

Posted 19 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Nov. 18, 2016 – With flu season right around the corner, U.S. health officials are urging everyone to get their flu shot now so they'll be protected from the potentially serious complications of influenza. "The fact that flu activity hasn't picked up dramatically yet means there is plenty of time for people to get vaccinated if they haven't already," said Lynnette Brammer, an epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This year's flu season is starting out much like last year, Brammer said. Currently, influenza H3N2 is the predominant strain, she said, although H1N1 is also circulating. Last year, the H3N2 virus started out as the dominant strain, only to be displaced by H1N1 as flu season hit full swing. "It ended up being an H1N1 season," she said. "It's similar to a lot of years right now," Brammer added. "Things should start to pick up in the ... Read more

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Your Birth Year Might Help Shield You From Bird Flu Strains

Posted 10 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 10, 2016 – The year you were born could help predict your risk of becoming seriously ill or dying after exposure to a flu virus that jumped from animals to humans, researchers suggest. It was believed that previous exposure to a flu virus offered people little to no protection against new animal-origin flu viruses, according to investigators from the University of Arizona in Tucson and the University of California, Los Angeles. But an analysis of all-known cases of severe illness or death caused by the H5N1 and H7N9 bird flu viruses showed that the first infection with flu virus as child helps determine which new bird flu viruses people would be protected against in the future. Depending on when people were born, they were infected with different types of flu viruses for the first time as children, the researchers explained. This causes their bodies to produce different ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Avian Influenza, Influenza A, Influenza with Pneumonia

Migration Helps Spread Bird Flu Worldwide

Posted 14 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 13, 2016 – Migrating birds can spread bird flu worldwide and monitoring migration routes could provide early warning of outbreaks, researchers say. Their new study looked at how H5N8 bird flu spread globally after outbreaks in birds began in South Korea in early 2014. The virus eventually spread to Japan, Europe and North America, causing outbreaks in birds in those regions between autumn 2014 and spring 2015. Bird flu strains can be highly lethal to birds and infect poultry farms worldwide. The viruses rarely cause illness in people, but when they does, the illness can be life-threatening, the researchers noted. The study results showed that H5N8 was most likely carried by infected migrating birds from Asia to Europe and North America via their breeding grounds in the Arctic. The findings suggest that increased surveillance of wild birds at their breeding areas could ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Avian Influenza

How to Protect Yourself From the Seasonal Flu

Posted 23 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 23, 2016 – Don't let this year's flu season catch you by surprise. Experts say an annual flu shot is the best way to avoid the aches, fever, congestion and fatigue that flu brings – and to protect those who are at high risk for flu-related complications. "Every year, people die from influenza," said Cindy Weston, an assistant professor of nursing at Texas A&M University. "After sizable outbreaks, people will respond with large amounts of vaccinations, but they should be getting vaccinated every year to protect those most vulnerable, mainly children and the elderly." Now that it's fall, it's time for your shot. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends an annual flu shot for everyone older than 6 months of age. This includes pregnant women. Babies less than 8 months old may need to get the vaccine in two doses. And people over age 65 should get the ... Read more

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With Flu Shot, Timing May Be Everything

Posted 26 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 26, 2016 – Flu shots may be more effective when people get them in the morning than in the afternoon, a new study suggests. British researchers assessed 276 people 65 and older who received vaccinations against three different flu strains between 2011 and 2013. The patients received the vaccines either between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., or 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. People in the morning group had a much larger increase in antibodies against two of the flu strains one month after vaccination, the researchers found. However, with the third flu strain, there was no significant difference between the morning and afternoon groups. "We know that there are fluctuations in immune responses throughout the day and wanted to examine whether this would extend to the antibody response to vaccination," said lead investigator Anna Phillips. She's with the University of Birmingham's School of Sport, ... Read more

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Patient-to-Doctor Spread of Bird Flu Reported in China

Posted 11 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10, 2016 – Deadly H7N9 bird flu can, in certain situations, be transmitted person-to-person in hospitals, according to a new report from China. Since bird flu first appeared in eastern China in 2013, nearly 700 people have been infected, the study authors said. Almost 300 people have died as of Jan. 10, 2016. Most of the infections and deaths have occurred in China, the authors said. People usually get this flu from infected birds, but clusters of infections in households have been reported. This is the first report, however, of person-to-person transmission occurring in a hospital, the researchers said. "Our study shows a patient with H7N9 bird flu in a hospital in Shantou, China infected two doctors," said lead researcher David Kelvin, from the International Institute of Infection and Immunity in Shantou. "This is alarming because it shows that human-to-human ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Avian Influenza

Take Care in the Bitter Cold

Posted 19 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 19, 2015 – As frigid temperatures send much of the northern half of the United States into a deep freeze, doctors say people need to take steps to avoid dangerous drops in body temperature, or hypothermia. "It is important to take measures to stay warm, paying special attention to the head and scalp [as well as the nose, neck and ears], which are often exposed to the cold air and at risk for heat loss in cold temperatures," Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said in a hospital news release. "In the cold weather, it's important to keep your head, face and nose covered, but most importantly dress in layers to prevent heat loss," he added. Glatter also advised wearing "sturdy, insulated boots with thick wool socks which keep your feet and toes warm in the cold temperatures – especially while shoveling snow." It only takes 15 ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Cold Symptoms, Sore Throat, Avian Influenza, Influenza A, Influenza with Pneumonia

Majority of U.S. Hospitals Don't Require Flu Shots for Staffers: Survey

Posted 15 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 15, 2015 – More than half of U.S. hospitals don't require health care providers to get a seasonal flu shot, a new study finds. In the 2013 survey of infection control specialists at 386 hospitals nationwide, about 43 percent said flu vaccination was mandatory for all health care providers. About 10 percent more said their hospital would require the shot the next flu season. The researchers also found that only 1.3 percent of Veterans Affairs hospitals required all health care providers to get a flu shot. The VA wants near-universal flu vaccination in its hospitals by 2020, according to the study in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. Opposition from employee unions or concerns about staff opposition were reasons why nearly 28 percent of VA hospitals and about 15 percent of non-VA hospitals did not require flu vaccination, according to the report. A ... Read more

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Ah-Choo! Sneeze 'Cloud' Quickly Covers a Room, Study Finds

Posted 23 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 23, 2015 – Just in time for cold and flu season, a new study finds the average human sneeze expels a high-velocity cloud that can contaminate a room in minutes. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) came to that conclusion by analyzing videos of two healthy people sneezing about 50 times over several days. It's well known that sneezes can spread infectious diseases such as measles or the flu, because viruses suspended in sneeze droplets can be inhaled by others or deposited on surfaces and later picked up as people touch them. But it wasn't clear how far sneeze droplets can spread, or why some people are more likely to spread illness through sneezes than others. In a prior study, the team led by MIT's Lydia Bourouiba found that within a few minutes, sneeze droplets can cover an area the size of a room and reach ventilation ducts at ceiling height. ... Read more

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Person-to-Person Bird Flu Transmission Likely Happened at Chinese Hospital

Posted 19 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 18, 2015 – The transmission of H7N9 bird flu between two unrelated people probably happened in a hospital in China, a new case study says. Previous reports of person-to-person transmission of the virus have all occurred among family members. The two patients in the study were on the same ward in a district hospital in Zhejiang Province, China in February 2015. One patient was admitted to the hospital on Feb. 18 with fever, cough and sore throat. His symptoms developed after he bought two chickens from a live poultry market, the researchers noted. The 49-year-old man was diagnosed with H7N9 on Feb. 24 and died on April 20. The second patient was a 57-year-old man with a history of chronic pulmonary lung disease who developed flu-like symptoms after spending five days on the same ward as the first patient. The second patient was diagnosed with H7N9 on Feb. 25 and died on ... Read more

Related support groups: Avian Influenza, Diagnosis and Investigation

Prepare Yourself for Cold, Flu Season

Posted 29 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 29, 2015 – Cold and flu season has arrived, but there are a number of things you can do to protect yourself from infection, an expert says. "People over the age of 65 should get a high-dose flu shot. People under the age of 65 should get a regular flu shot. People who are under 65 and allergic to eggs should get nasal flu spray," Dr. Howard Selinger, chair of family medicine in the School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, said in a university news release. "Flu shots are safe, last for a year and are covered by insurance." People with chronic illnesses require even more protection, Selinger said. "People over 65 with any type of chronic illness, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease, should get two pneumonia vaccines: Pneumovax and Prevnar. These vaccinations are given separately and protect from 36 strains of pneumococcal pneumonia. ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Cold Symptoms, Pseudoephedrine, Sudafed, Phenylephrine, Sore Throat, Afrin, Ephedrine, Oxymetazoline, Azelastine, Astelin, Phenylpropanolamine, Dymista, Sudafed PE, Otrivin, Influenza A, 4-Way, Avian Influenza, Twice-A-Day, Tetrahydrozoline

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