A Ugandan chicken farmer rides to market in this file photo. In the wake of an outbreak of avian flu farmers have been told to quarantine their poultry.
Since regular monitoring for avian influenza viruses started, several subtypes that have been circulating - but not all pose a threat to humans.
What if it wasn’t back to the drawing board every year for a new flu shot?
Flu virus mutates so quickly that one year's vaccine won't work on the next year's common strains. But a new way to create vaccines, called 'rational design,' might pave the way for more lasting solutions.
HIV plays hide and seek with the body’s immune system to evade detection. But we can learn from its tactics to make a range of vaccines against infectious diseases.
Researchers are learning how HIV hides from the immune system to develop a new generation of vaccines for seemingly unrelated diseases, like the flu.
Image Point Fr/Shutterstock.com
Universal flu vaccines have reached the stage where they are no longer just a 'hopeful hypothesis'.
Stay home if you get the flu.
Getting a flu shot reduces your risk of getting the flu, and it also helps the community. Here's why.
But what are the risks?
Computer modelling can help in the fight against the spread of disease.
It took a computer to discover the potential threat of a drug-resistant strain of swine flu that was about to spread from New South Wales. So how close did we come to a global pandemic?
The flu vaccine – which prevents one from getting influenza – changes every year, because it is based on the strains of the virus that presented in the previous year.
Ed Hutchinson/University of Glasgow
Understanding how the flu virus copies itself could open a way to killing it.
Happy pictures make people believe drugs are safer and more effective.
Some advertising content bypasses regulations to promote unrealistic beliefs about drugs.
Get the shot.
While studies suggests that cholesterol-lowering statins can make the flu shot less effective, the vaccine remains the best available tool for reducing flu-related complications and death.
Avoiding stress could help stave off the flu.
Sick woman via www.shutterstock.com.
Cold and flu season is here, but getting worried about it might only hurt your chances of staying healthy.
What flu season has in store: mostly H1N1 in the north and a three-way split between H1N1, H3N2 and influenza B in the south.
Why the low uptake?
If people are avoiding the flu jab because last year's protection wasn't great, that would be a mistake.
Emerging science could help us gain a better understanding of the annual phenomenon of students falling ill when they head back to uni.
All we are is just a link in the chain?
Chain via www.shutterstock.com.
Missing links make a good story, but not good science. Outdated metaphors don't help us understand the rapid evolution of infectious diseases such as flu and malaria.
Try to predict the outcome of a single coin toss and you’ll have only a 50-50 chance of being correct.
Predicting infectious disease outbreaks is a tricky task to begin with. And it's made harder still by the fact that any individual outcome is subject to unpredictable – or stochastic – effects.
The immune system protects us from the constant onslaught of viruses, bacteria and other types of pathogens we encounter throughout life. But it can sometimes misbehave.
Children in particular experience a multitude of viral illnesses during their early years.
Viruses cause all kinds of infections from relatively mild cases of the flu to deadly outbreaks of Ebola. Clearly, not all viruses are equal and one of these differences is when you can infect others.
Predicting the severity of the flu season based on one data set paints an unnecessarily scary picture.
Sabbhat Sabacio Striges/Flickr
Australia's in the middle of the annual flu season and once again, it's claimed to the worst on record. But why is it that every season seems to outdo previous ones and how bad is this year, really?