Articles on Flu series 2018

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An Atlanta hospital set up a mobile ER to deal with the large number of flu cases. AP Photo/David Goldman

Why did the flu kill 80,000 Americans last year?

Part of the problem was a mismatch between the influenza strains circulating and the vaccine available. Here's how annual flu shots are formulated.
People and animals live side by side – and can have pathogens in common. Nichola Hill

Influenza’s wild origins in the animals around us

No one then knew a virus caused the 1918 flu pandemic, much less that animals can be a reservoir for human illnesses. Now virus ecology research and surveillance are key for public health efforts.
An injectable flu vaccination. Flu vaccines lessen the likelihood of getting the flu and its severity. Flickr/

How vaccination is helping to prevent another flu pandemic

The 1918 flu pandemic has long puzzled those who study disease outbreaks. Why was it so severe? While that question is hard to answer, one thing is certain: Vaccines would have lessened the toll.
Could the yearly flu shot become a thing of the past? AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File

Influenza: The search for a universal vaccine

Flu virus mutates so quickly that one year's vaccine won't work on the next year's common strains. But rational design – a new way to create vaccines – might pave the way for more lasting solutions.
A CDC scientist measures the amount of H7N9 avian flu virus grown in a lab. James Gathany/CDC/Handout via REUTERS

3 ways the US should prepare for the next flu pandemic

Science has come a long way in the 100 years since the worst flu pandemic in history. But that doesn't mean that the country is ready for another health disaster.

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