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Influenza News

Related terms: The Flu, Flu

Slimy Frog Might Be a Flu Fighter

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 18, 2017 – It sounds like weird science, but the slime that coats the skin of South Indian frogs might fight some strains of the flu. A new mouse study suggests this is so, although research in animals frequently doesn't pan out in humans. What the researchers found was that certain peptides in the frogs' skin mucus can destroy the H1 variety of influenza viruses. It was known that frogs' skin can secrete peptides that protect against bacteria. Peptides are short chains of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. The new findings suggest these peptides could help lead to new antiviral treatments as well, the researchers said. Such drugs could prove important when vaccines aren't available to deal with new strains of pandemic flu, or when known flu strains develop resistance to current medications, said study senior author Joshy Jacob. One of the peptides in the ... Read more

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When Parents Get Vaccinated, Their Kids Do Too

Posted 13 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 17, 2017 – When parents get a flu shot, their kids are more likely to be vaccinated against not only the flu, but also other diseases, new research reveals. Investigators first focused on the flu vaccine, and found that the kids of parents who got the flu shot were nearly three times more likely to get the shot themselves. But the trickle-down effect did not stop there. When parents got flu shots, they were also more likely to make sure their kids were vaccinated against other diseases, especially the human papillomavirus (HPV). The HPV vaccine protects against several cancers, including cervical cancer in women and penile cancer in men. And the reverse held true. "Parents who chose not to immunize themselves for influenza were more likely to have children who weren't immunized against other diseases, such as HPV," said study lead researcher Steve Robison, from the Oregon ... Read more

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Flu Season All But Over in U.S.

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 14, 2017 – This year's flu season is rapidly winding down and is expected to end within the next couple of weeks, U.S. health officials predicted Friday. It was a year much like the past few flu seasons, when the H3N2 virus was the most prevalent strain. That strain usually is hardest on the elderly and the very young. But this flu season there was a slight twist – middle-aged people were more affected than children, said Lynnette Brammer, an epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "We are not done yet, there's still flu out there, but it is declining," she said. "This is the first week that influenza A and B are both going down." The 2016-2017 season followed a typical course, Brammer said. "We had a large wave of influenza H3N2 and then we had a smaller wave of influenza B at the end – not an uncommon pattern," she said. However, the ... Read more

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Parents Don't Always Head to Child's Doctor When Illness Strikes

Posted 20 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 20, 2017 – Many American parents don't count on getting a same-day appointment with their child's doctor and turn to other health care options when their kids are suddenly sick, a new survey finds. More than 2,000 parents of youngsters up to age 18 were surveyed in the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health. The parents were asked about trying to make a health provider appointment or to get health advice if their child woke up with a sore throat and fever. Forty-two percent of parents said they would take their child to an urgent care, retail clinic or emergency department. But another 42 percent said they would call their child's doctor for advice. More parents believed they could get same-day phone advice (60 percent) than get a same-day appointment with their child's doctor (53 percent). Only 10 percent of parents said they would use email to ... Read more

Related support groups: Cough, Influenza, Cold Symptoms, Sore Throat, Cough and Nasal Congestion

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

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Antiviral Flu Drugs Safe in Mid-to-Late Pregnancy: Study

Posted 1 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 1, 2017 – Taking antiviral drugs to prevent or treat flu during pregnancy doesn't appear to put the health of the fetus at risk, a new study finds. Researchers reviewed information from nearly 6,000 pregnant women who were given a prescription for antiviral drugs to treat flu. The prescriptions were for either oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza). The study didn't include women who took the drugs before 22 weeks of pregnancy. The researchers compared these women to nearly 700,000 expectant mothers who didn't take the drugs during pregnancy. Babies born to mothers prescribed the antiviral drugs didn't have higher rates of complications. The researchers looked at problems such as low birth weight, preterm birth, stillbirth and birth defects. The findings support previous studies showing that these drugs don't put babies at risk, according to study author Dr. ... Read more

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Health Tip: Identifying Signs of the Common Cold

Posted 24 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

-- Feeling under the weather? It's important to know whether you the common cold or something more serious. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says common-cold symptoms may include: Sore throat. Cough. Sneezing and runny nose. Body aches. Headache. The common cold is most likely during winter and spring, though you can get a cold at any time. Symptoms usually subside in seven-to-10 days. Some people with a compromised immune system or respiratory problems may develop pneumonia as a complication. Read more

Related support groups: Headache, Migraine, Cough, Influenza, Cold Symptoms, Sore Throat, Cough and Nasal Congestion

Don't Skip Veggies in Winter

Posted 21 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 20, 2017 – Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean you can't eat fresh, healthy foods. There are five types of foods you should try to consume during the winter months, according to health experts at the Cleveland Clinic who offer these suggestions: While it can be hard to find local produce during the winter, root vegetables such as beets, carrots and turnips can withstand the cold and are available. Roast carrots to get a dose of beta-carotene, or boil turnips for vitamins A and C. Oatmeal provides nutrients that are essential during winter. It's high in zinc (important for your immune system) and soluble fiber, which is associated with heart health. Instant oatmeal is more convenient but also more expensive. If you're on a budget, choose old-fashioned oats. Soup is another good food choice in winter, but hold the cream, salt and beef. Try soup recipes that call for ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Cold Symptoms, Vitamin D Deficiency, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation and Deficiency, Sore Throat, A-25, Zostavax, Swine Influenza, Yellow Fever Vaccine, Gardasil, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Vitamin A, Rabies Vaccine, Human Diploid Cell, Immunodeficiency, FluLaval, Hepatitis B Adult Vaccine, Varicella Virus Vaccine, Twinrix, Human Papillomavirus Vaccine, Afluria

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

Related support groups: Influenza, Influenza A, Avian Influenza, FluLaval, Afluria, FluMist, Fluzone, Influenza Prophylaxis, Influenza Virus Vaccine, Inactivated, Flublok Quadrivalent, Flublok, Flucelvax, Vaccination and Prophlaxis, Fluvirin 2016-2017, Fluvirin, Fluarix Quadrivalent, Fluad, Flublok 2016-2017, Fluzone PFS, Flucelvax 2015-2016

Health Tip: Protect Kids in Cold Weather

Posted 13 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

-- Playing in the snow is one of the joys of winter, especially for children. But parents should take precautions to make sure little ones stay warm. Here are suggestions from the American Academy of Pediatrics: Establish limits on how long children can spend outdoors when it's very cold. When temperatures are particularly bitter, have children come inside at set times to warm up. Make sure children wear appropriate clothing, coats, mittens and hats to keep warm. Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Cold Symptoms, Sore Throat

Eczema May Leave Some Flu Shots Less Effective, Study Finds

Posted 13 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 13, 2017 – It's still flu season, and not too late to get your flu shot. But a new study suggests that people with eczema should request the vaccine be given into the muscle, rather than just under the skin. That's because the effectiveness of flu shots in people with eczema appears to vary, depending on how it's given, researchers report. The problem seems to lie with the fact that the cracked, dry skin of eczema patients is often colonized by Staphylococcus bacteria. And that seems to dampen the immune response from the flu vaccine – if the shot is given into the skin, the researchers said. "Staphylococcus infections are a widespread problem among [eczema] patients, with up to 90 percent of patients with severe disease colonized by the bacteria," lead researcher Dr. Donald Leung, of National Jewish Health in Denver, said in a hospital news release. He's head of ... Read more

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Flu Cases Spiking Across the United States: CDC

Posted 10 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 10, 2017 – Flu activity spiked sharply across the United States this week, federal health officials reported Friday. Deaths from flu-related conditions continued at high levels, and hospitalizations among people over 65 and under the age of 4 are up. So far, 20 children have died from flu, said Lynnette Brammer, an epidemiologist for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "More children have died this year than at the same time last year," said Brammer. "This may end up being a bad year for kids, but we just don't know yet. Deaths look high for this year because last year was light. A lot of this is timing." Overall last year, 128 children died from flu-related complications, according to the CDC. Hospitalizations among people in their 50s and 60s are also increasing, and may actually be outpacing those for children, the CDC reported. Health officials noted ... Read more

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8 Ways to Help Kids Dodge Germs

Posted 9 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8, 2017 – There are a number of ways parents can help give a boost to their child's immune system, a family doctor suggests. "The immune system helps us fight infections," said Dr. Palak Shroff, a family medicine specialist at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. "Immunity develops over time, so the more someone gets exposed, the more the immune system develops," Shroff explained in a center news release. "Kids' whole environment is new, but over time, their immunity will develop and get better," she added. Shroff suggested eight keys to helping children minimize their risk of catching every cold and virus that comes their way: Breast-feeding is the first step. It is an important way to help your child develop a strong immune system. "During breast-feeding, the mother's immunity transfers to the child," Shroff said. Vaccination is another crucial factor. ... Read more

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New Flu Vaccines for Dogs Unleashed in Lab

Posted 7 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 6, 2017 – Researchers who created two new flu vaccines for dogs say their work could help keep people safe, too. The vaccines were developed to protect dogs against the H3N8 canine flu virus, which is circulating among dogs in the United States. These are "live-attenuated" vaccines. That means they're made from live flu virus that is weakened so that it does not cause the flu. These types of vaccines trigger stronger immune responses and longer periods of protection than inactivated (killed flu virus) vaccines currently used by veterinarians, according to the University of Rochester researchers. The new vaccines proved safe and effective against H3N8 canine influenza in mice and dog tracheal cells, according to Luis Martinez-Sobrido, an associate professor in the department of microbiology and immunology, and colleagues. The investigators plan to test the vaccines in ... Read more

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Dressing Baby for a Safe Winter Drive

Posted 6 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Feb. 5, 2017 – Winter can present challenges for parents trying to dress their children properly for the weather. This is especially true when the outing involves placing kids in child car seats, so a pediatricians' group offers some advice. Children should not wear bulky clothing underneath the harness of a car seat, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says. The force of a crash would flatten out the fluffy padding in winter coats or other such clothing. That would leave extra space under the harness, putting the child at risk of slipping through the straps and being thrown from the seat. Instead, dress your child in thin layers, the academy says. Start with close-fitting layers, such as long underwear, tights, leggings and long-sleeved bodysuits. Then add pants and a warm top, such as a sweater or thermal-knit shirt. A thin fleece jacket can then be put on top. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Cold Symptoms, Sore Throat

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