Articles on Influenza

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Only a lab test can confirm what virus you’ve been infected with. Jason Rogers

Move over flu, there’s more than one respiratory virus around

Influenza or flu is one of those dustbin words used by the media and by health professionals to cover the myriad causes of a respiratory infection. The only way to be sure is with laboratory testing of…
You might feel crook after a flu vax but the injection itself can’t give you influenza. Nettsu

Monday’s medical myth: the flu vaccine will give you influenza

We hear it all the time: “I don’t want a flu vaccine. It gives you the flu.” The old, the young, and even health professionals make this claim. And it’s usually followed by a personal example like, “the…
Does Tamiflu work the way its manufacturer claims?

Drug trial results must be made public

A team of public health experts has called for the release of all clinical drug trial results for independent analysis following…
Scientists could reconstruct the work on the avian flu virus from clues, making suppression of future work counterproductive. AAP

Censoring influenza research: gagging scientists could put lives at risk

Researchers working on a pathogenic strain of avian flu (H5N1) have agreed to pause their work for 60 days so international experts can discuss the safest ways to proceed. But it’s important to ensure…
Are the benefits of openness worth the risk of releasing a new superflu? Ars Electronica

Avian superflu and the censorship of science

Two studies, one carried out in the Netherlands by Ron Fouchier and the other in Japan by Yoshihiro Kawaoka, are causing controversy over the creation of a new strain of H5N1 Avian Influenza or “bird flu…
All vaccines rely on generating an immune response that persists but our understanding of immune memory has some way to go. James Gathany/CDC

Search for the elusive universal flu vaccine

Influenza is never off the news agenda for long. If it’s not the flu season (and it always is in one hemisphere) and the attendant calls for vaccinations, it’s news about vaccines causing problems or new…
Current vaccines are quite good but they offer no protection against novel pandemic strains of the flu. Jason Rogers

Global efforts against flu evolving in the face of continuing threat

Influenza is never off the news agenda for long. If it’s not the flu season (and it always is in one hemisphere) and the attendant calls for vaccinations, it’s news about vaccines causing problems or new…

Women have stronger immune systems than men

As anyone familiar with the phrase “man-flu” will know, women consider themselves to be the more robust side of the species…
Authors of a new paper suggest a detergent used by CSL in making its flu vaccine could be the cause of the problem. AAP

New theory on why CSL’s flu vaccine caused febrile convulsions in children

A paper published in the Medical Journal of Australia today provides a possible reason for CSL’s 2010 flu vaccine causing febrile convulsions in children. The authors hypothesise that suboptimal use of…
Every year outbreaks of influenza in aged-care facilities create major disruption. Alyssa L. Miller

Protecting our elderly: beating flu outbreaks in nursing homes

Flu outbreaks in nursing homes can lead to pneumonia, stroke and heart attacks among elderly residents. Staff are a major potential source of infection, but only around one in five get an annual flu shot…
Bird flu transmission to humans is rare and hasn’t occurred with this new strain. AAP

Explainer: should we be worried about the new strain of bird flu?

The circulation of a new strain of the H5N1 avian flu virus from China and Vietnam has prompted calls from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN for health authorities to be ready for a possible…
Mutations of the flu virus render drugs ineffective for treating infected patients. Leonid Mamchenkov

Marvellous mutants: how nimble flu viruses outsmart drugs

The United Nations Food and Agricultute Organisation is warning authorities to be on high alert after a mutant strain of bird flu was found to be spreading across Asia. While bird flu hasn’t traditionally…
We’re still a while away from a vaccine for the type of flu virus that causes pandemics such as swine flu. TreintagenariO -Serie B/Flickr

Don’t hold your breath for universal pandemic flu vaccine

Have you ever wondered why you need to get an influenza vaccination each year to protect yourself? Or even why it seems like another pandemic threat is announced before every flu season? Well, it’s all…
People with chronic medical conditions and others in high-risk groups should get a flu shot. mcfarlandmo/Wikimedia Commons

Flu is on the rise, Australia … and that’s not to be sniffed at

The number of people suffering from influenza in Australia this year has soared compared to recorded numbers from previous years, with nearly 8,000 cases so far compared to about 2,000 last year. We don’t…
A person harmed while helping the community attain herd immunity should be compensated. AAP

Ending the vaccine blame game: time for a no-fault compensation scheme

When someone is adversely affected by a vaccine in Australia, their only way to receive compensation is through the courts. But this is not the case worldwide. Vaccines undergo rigorous testing to ensure…
An FDA audit of CSL’s laboratories has found the company doesn’t follow good manufacturing practice. AAP

CSL gets warning shot from US drug regulator

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has just issued a warning letter about the safety of CSL’s influenza vaccine, Fluvax. The letter follows FDA’s latest annual inspection of CSL laboratories and…

Tracing diseases through time

Six Influenza A viruses that have a close genetic relationship to H1N1 (swine flu) have been identified using new mathematical…

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