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Your Birth Year Might Help Shield You From Bird Flu Strains

Posted 10 Nov 2016 by

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

How to Protect Yourself From the Seasonal Flu

Posted 23 Sep 2016 by

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

Related support groups: Allergic Reactions, Allergies, Influenza, Anaphylaxis, Swine Influenza, Avian Influenza, Influenza A, FluLaval, Afluria, FluMist, Fluzone, Influenza Prophylaxis, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Flublok, Influenza Virus Vaccine, Inactivated, Flucelvax, Fluad, Fluogen, Flucelvax 2015-2016, Fluvirin

Flu Shot Tied to Fewer Hospitalizations, Deaths in Type 2 Diabetes Patients

Posted 26 Jul 2016 by

TUESDAY, July 26, 2016 – The seasonal flu vaccine may offer people with type 2 diabetes some protection against dying prematurely, a new study suggests. The flu shot also appeared to protect those with type 2 diabetes from hospitalizations for stroke, as well as heart and breathing problems, the study said. British researchers looked at a large group – more than 124,500 people – with type 2 diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes normally have a higher risk of cardiovascular problems, the researchers noted. During the seven-year study, the researchers found that flu vaccination was associated with a 19 percent reduction in flu-season hospital admissions for heart attack in people with type 2 diabetes. Hospital admissions for stroke were 30 percent lower for those who got a flu vaccination. Admissions were also down 22 percent for heart failure, and 15 percent for pneumonia or influenza ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Influenza, Insulin Resistance, Pre-Diabetes, Diabetes Mellitus, Influenza A, FluLaval, Afluria, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance, FluMist, Fluzone, Influenza Prophylaxis, Flublok, Influenza Virus Vaccine, Inactivated, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Flucelvax, Fluzone Intradermal, Fluogen, Fluarix Quadrivalent, Fluvirin

Expectant Mom's Flu Shot Protects 2

Posted 3 May 2016 by

TUESDAY, May 3, 2016 – When a pregnant woman gets vaccinated for the flu, the protection extends to her baby too, new research confirms. Babies 6 months and younger whose mothers had a flu vaccine during pregnancy were 70 percent less likely to have lab-confirmed flu than babies born to mothers who didn't have the immunization while pregnant. In addition, the babies born to mothers immunized during pregnancy had an 80 percent reduction in flu-related hospitalizations, the study found. "Children younger than 6 months are too young to be vaccinated," said the study's lead author, Dr. Julie Shakib. "The best way to protect infants younger than 6 months is to make sure everyone around them is vaccinated. Immunizing pregnant women provides immunity to the baby through the placenta. Immunizing others who live with or care for the baby prevents them from getting the flu and passing it to the ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Influenza A, FluLaval, Afluria, FluMist, Fluzone, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Flublok, Influenza Virus Vaccine, Inactivated, Flucelvax, Agriflu, Fluogen, Fluzone High-Dose, Fluvirin, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation, Fluzone Quadrivalent, Fluzone PFS, Flublok 2015-2016, Fluzone 2015-2016

With Flu Shot, Timing May Be Everything

Posted 26 Apr 2016 by

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

Related support groups: Influenza, Prevnar 13, Influenza A, Avian Influenza, FluLaval, Pneumococcal 23-polyvalent Vaccine, Pneumovax 23, Afluria, Pneumococcal Disease Prophylaxis, FluMist, Fluzone, Flublok, Influenza Virus Vaccine, Inactivated, Pneumococcal 13-valent Conjugate Vaccine, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Flucelvax, Influenza Virus Vaccine, Live, Trivalent, Fluad, Fluogen, Flucelvax 2015-2016

Take Care in the Bitter Cold

Posted 19 Jan 2016 by

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

Try Home Remedies for Child's Cough or Cold

Posted 6 Jan 2016 by

TUESDAY, Jan. 5, 2016 – Instead of turning to over-the-counter cough and cold remedies, parents should consider treating their children with home remedies, says a leading group of U.S. pediatricians. Like all medications, even cold and could remedies available without a prescription can cause serious side effects in young children, the American Academy of Pediatrics cautions. Because of the risks, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2008 recommended that children younger than 4 years old never be treated with over-the-counter cough and cold medicines. Children between 4 and 6 years old should only take these remedies under the direction of their doctor, the academy said in a news release. But children older than 6 can safely take over-the-counter drugs if the dosage instructions on the package are followed correctly. There are safer, more convenient and less costly ways to provide ... Read more

Related support groups: Hydrocodone, Cough, Codeine, Influenza, Cold Symptoms, NyQuil, Dry Cough, Mucinex DM, Dextromethorphan, Benzonatate, Sore Throat, Alka-Seltzer, Cough and Nasal Congestion, DayQuil, Delsym, Daytime, Bromfed DM, C-Phen DM, Tylenol Cold, Tessalon

Get Your Flu Shot Before the Flu Is Widespread: CDC

Posted 23 Dec 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23, 2015 – Although relatively few cases of flu have surfaced so far in the United States, health officials expect activity to pick up in the next few weeks, so everyone who hasn't gotten a flu shot should get one now. "So far, influenza activity this season has remained low," said Lynnette Brammer, an epidemiologist in the influenza division at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "We are seeing a mix of flu strains, but activity is still low, so it's a great time to go out and get vaccinated if you haven't yet," she said. This year's slow start to the flu season isn't unusual, Brammer said. "It feels a bit unusual because the last three years were early years, but this is sort of typical," she explained. "The majority of flu seasons peak in February." Brammer expects flu activity to pick up in the next few weeks. "It's possible that this year's flu ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Influenza A, FluLaval, Afluria, FluMist, Fluzone, Flublok, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Flucelvax, Influenza Virus Vaccine, Inactivated, Fluogen, Fluzone Quadrivalent, Fluvirin, Flublok 2015-2016, Fluzone PFS, FluLaval Quadrivalent, Influenza Virus Vaccine, Live, Trivalent, Fluarix, Fluzone SV, Fluvirin Preservative-Free

Prepare Yourself for Cold, Flu Season

Posted 29 Oct 2015 by

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, Ephedrine, Afrin, Astelin, Oxymetazoline, Azelastine, Phenylpropanolamine, Sudafed PE, Otrivin, Dymista, Influenza A, Avian Influenza, Tetrahydrozoline, 4-Way, SudoGest

Online Program Boosts Hand Washing, Cuts Infections

Posted 6 Aug 2015 by

THURSDAY, Aug. 6, 2015 – An online program that encourages people to wash their hands reduced the spread of cold and flu viruses within families, a new study says. The program also led to fewer gastrointestinal illnesses, doctor appointments and antibiotic prescriptions, according to the findings published online Aug. 6 in The Lancet. "A simple, cheap internet program to encourage hand washing can reduce the risk of infection by around 14 percent," study author Dr. Paul Little, a professor at the University of Southampton in the U.K., said in a journal news release. "Because most of the population catches coughs, colds, sore throats and other respiratory infections, this could have an important impact on reducing the spread of these viruses in the general population, and also help reduce the pressure on [health] services during the winter months," he added. The free, interactive ... Read more

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

Scientists Test Universal Flu Vaccine in Mice

Posted 21 Jul 2015 by

TUESDAY, July 21, 2015 – Scientists report that a universal flu vaccine in mice protected the animals against eight different flu strains. If the vaccine works in humans, scientists might not have to develop new flu vaccines every year, the researchers said. The findings were reported July 21 in the journal mBio. Currently, a vaccine is created each year to protect against the handful of flu strains that are predicted to be the most common during that flu season. And the vaccine makeup is determined months in advance so that manufacturers have time to make the millions of doses needed. "The reason researchers change the vaccine every year is that they want to specifically match the vaccine to the particular viruses that are circulating, such as H1N1. If the vaccine is just a little bit different to the target virus, it is not expected to offer much protection," explained lead ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Swine Influenza, Influenza A, Avian Influenza, FluLaval, Afluria, FluMist, Fluzone, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Flublok, Influenza Virus Vaccine, Inactivated, Flucelvax, Agriflu, Fluogen, Fluzone High-Dose, Fluvirin, Fluzone Quadrivalent, Fluzone PFS, Flublok 2015-2016, Fluarix

Antibiotics Myths Still Common Among Parents

Posted 20 Jul 2015 by

MONDAY, July 20, 2015 – Many American parents still have misconceptions about when their children should receive antibiotics and what the medications do, a new study finds. Looking at data results spanning more than a decade, researchers saw that parents with Medicaid insurance were more likely to misunderstand appropriate antibiotic use than parents with private commercial insurance. Medicaid is the government-run insurance program for lower-income Americans. "While not confirmed, it is possible that the combination of health literacy and underlying socioeconomic factors could contribute to both the misconceptions and expectations for antibiotics," said Dr. Louise Vaz. She is assistant professor of pediatric infectious diseases and medical director of the Outpatient Antibiotic Therapy Program at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. "We do need to better tailor our ... Read more

Related support groups: Metronidazole, Influenza, Bactrim, Flagyl, Cold Symptoms, Bactrim DS, Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim, Xifaxan, Polymyxin B, Septra, Zyvox, Swine Influenza, Bacitracin, Rifaximin, Metro, SMZ-TMP DS, Septra DS, Chloramphenicol, Sulfatrim, Cotrimoxazole

Vaccine Opponents Often Cluster in Communities

Posted 19 Jan 2015 by

MONDAY, Jan. 19, 2015 – Parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated appear to be clustered in certain areas, a new study suggests. Among more than 150,000 children in 13 counties in Northern California, the researchers found five clusters where kids had missed one or more vaccinations by the time they were 3 years old. "It's known from other studies that areas where there are clusters of vaccine refusal are at higher risk of epidemics, such as whooping cough epidemics," said lead investigator Dr. Tracy Lieu, a pediatrician and director of the division of research at Kaiser Permanente Northern California, in Oakland. "Clusters may deserve special outreach efforts to make sure parents have all the information they need to make informed decisions about vaccination," she said. Specifically, the researchers found the rate of missed vaccinations within these clusters ranged from 18 ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Tetanus, Swine Influenza, Measles, Pertussis, Influenza A, Avian Influenza, Rubella, Diphtheria, Hepatitis B Prevention, Pneumococcal Disease Prophylaxis, Influenza Prophylaxis, Poliomyelitis Prophylaxis, Hepatitis B Prophylaxis, Tetanus Prophylaxis, Hepatitis A Prophylaxis, Influenza with Pneumonia, Pertussis Prophylaxis, Rubella Prophylaxis, Measles Prophylaxis

Safe Ways to Relieve Your Young Child's Flu Symptoms

Posted 11 Jan 2013 by

FRIDAY, Jan. 11 – Flu season is especially bad in the United States this year, and young children with the flu tend to suffer more than others because they can't take over-the-counter medications to help relieve their symptoms. Cough and cold medications can have serious side effects if taken by young children, including rapid heart rate and convulsions. "These medications should never be used by children under the age of 4 and only under a physician's supervision if under the age of 6," Dr. Bridget Boyd, a pediatrician and assistant professor of pediatrics at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, said in a university news release. Unable to use medications, parents may feel helpless. But there are ways they can safely relieve their children's flu symptoms, Boyd said. Children 3 months to 12 months old should be given warm, clear fluids such as water, apple juice and an ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Influenza A, Influenza Prophylaxis

Research Reveals Why Flu Peaks in Certain Seasons

Posted 28 Dec 2012 by

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 – Ever wonder why the flu is seasonal? According to new research, widespread transmission of the virus has to do with humidity levels. The research was published in a recent issue of the journal PLoS One. In temperate regions, such as North America and Europe, flu peaks during the winter season, when humidity is low. But in some tropical regions, influenza thrives during the rainy season, noted the researchers from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, in Blacksburg. After measuring the influenza A virus survival rate at different humidity levels, the researchers concluded that flu is more common in winter months because the virus's viability in mucus increases when the relative humidity is below 50 percent. The virus, however, also thrives when the humidity is close to 100 percent, they found. "We added flu viruses to droplets of simulated respiratory ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Influenza A, Influenza Prophylaxis

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