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Related terms: Bird flu, H5N1

Experimental Drug Shows Promise Against Dangerous Viruses

Posted 29 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 29, 2017 – An experimental antiviral drug is effective against a number of coronaviruses, including some that can cause deadly epidemics, researchers say. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that infect birds and mammals, including humans. These viruses include severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which has a 10 percent death rate, and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), which has a 40 percent death rate. Currently, there are no effective antiviral drugs for coronaviruses, the study authors pointed out. In this study, laboratory tests showed that the experimental drug called GS-5734 was effective against SARS, MERS and other coronaviruses. GS-5734 is currently in clinical development for treatment of Ebola virus, the researchers said. The investigators also found that the drug was effective against SARS in mice, according to the study in the June 28 ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Sovaldi, Swine Influenza, Viral Infection, Sofosbuvir, Avian Influenza, Influenza A, Foscarnet, Fuzeon, Fomivirsen, Foscavir, Vitravene, Enfuvirtide

Health Highlights: March 7, 2017

Posted 7 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay: Republicans Introduce Obamacare Replacement An initial Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act was formally introduced in the House of Representatives on Monday. The proposed package scraps the mandate for health insurance and instead offers tax incentives designed to encourage Americans to get health insurance coverage, The New York Times reported. The bill does propose preserving two of the most popular elements of the health care reform law known as Obamacare. There would still be safeguards for people with pre-existing medical conditions, and young adults would still be able to stay on their parent's health insurance plans until the age of 26. But the highly unpopular fines on people who choose not to buy health insurance would be eliminated. Preliminary voting on the ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Avian Influenza

Flu Vaccine a Pretty Good Match for Viruses This Year: CDC

Posted 17 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 16, 2017 – It's not perfect, but this year's flu vaccine is a fairly good match for the circulating viruses, U.S. health officials reported Thursday. Overall, the vaccine is 48 percent effective. For the predominant circulating influenza A type H3N2 flu strain, its effectiveness comes in at 43 percent. But it's 73 percent effective against influenza B viruses, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "The effectiveness is a little bit lower than we would like to see, but it's similar to what we have seen for H3 viruses when the vaccine is a good match for what's circulating," said Brendan Flannery, a CDC epidemiologist. Indications are that infections are still rising in certain regions of the country, like the Midwest, but declining in others, like the Northwest. This is shaping up as a moderately severe flu season, he added. In similar seasons, ... Read more

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Flu Hospitalizations, Deaths Increasing: CDC

Posted 27 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 27, 2017 – Although this year's flu season appears to be an average one so far, more hospitalizations are being reported and deaths are increasing, federal health officials reported Friday. And it will be several weeks before the season peaks, said Lynnette Brammer, an epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "We are starting to see cases of severe disease and we are seeing excess deaths, most likely due to influenza," she said. Even though deaths and hospitalizations are increasing, Brammer didn't describe this year's flu season as particularly severe. "It's looking like an average influenza season," she said. 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, ... Read more

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Flu Cases Starting to Spread: CDC

Posted 20 Jan 2017 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, Influenza A, Avian Influenza, Influenza with Pneumonia

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