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Articles on Swine flu

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Backyard chickens may seem free and happy, but are at increased risk of contracting diseases from wild birds. Bruce Turner/Flickr

Why it’s wrong to blame livestock farms for coronavirus

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, some critics say livestock farms promote diseases that spread from animals to humans. An animal scientist explains how well-run farms work to keep that from happening.
Researchers Tian Xia and Zijie Lin test a plasma prototype for preventing airborne transmission of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus at a Michigan pig farm. Robert Coelius/Michigan Engineering, Communications & Marketing

A plasma reactor zaps airborne viruses – and could help slow the spread of infectious diseases

Viruses are small enough to pass through filters, including face masks. Disabling viruses with electrically charged gases could be a better way to curb airborne transmission.
The new approach to keep research ready to go could be useful for other health emergencies, including other infectious diseases. from www.shutterstock.com

How the UK is leading the world on flu research, ready to kick in quickly when the next pandemic hits

All too often, researchers around the world act in competition when trying to answer research questions in an emergency situation, such as outbreaks of the flu. The UK is trialling a new approach.
Congolese health workers prepare equipment before the launch of vaccination campaign against the deadly Ebola virus. REUTERS/Samuel Mambo

How the media falls short in reporting epidemics

A study of recent epidemics like Zika and Ebola suggests that the media may fail to tell the public what to do during an outbreak.
Every year in Canada, there is an average of 23,000 cases of lab-confirmed influenza, 12,000 people who need to be admitted to hospital and 3,500 flu deaths. (Shutterstock)

The flu shot: Who should get it and why

As influenza season begins in North America, many people wonder whether to get a flu shot. Our expert delves into the pros and cons of the vaccine and how it works.
As part of pandemic preparation, in the early 2000s many countries amassed large stockpiles of the influenza neuraminidase inhibitor Tamiflu. Tony Hisgett/Flickr

Controversies in medicine: the rise and fall of the challenge to Tamiflu

One of the biggest recent controversies in medicine involves the effectiveness of the antiviral drug Tamiflu. Governments have stockpiled the drug but many have raised doubts about its usefulness.
Predicting the severity of the flu season based on one data set paints an unnecessarily scary picture. Sabbhat Sabacio Striges/Flickr

Have you noticed Australia’s flu seasons seem to be getting worse? Here’s why

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?
H1N1, one of the flu strains circulating this season, disproportionately affects people aged 24 to 64 years. fractalworld/Flickr

Explainer: the 2014 flu vaccine

Influenza affects up to 15% of adults and 30% of children each flu season and early indications suggest we could be facing a severe season. The 2014 seasonal influenza vaccination is available from today…
In the meantime, use your hanky. David Jones/PA

A universal flu vaccine is still some time off

After standing in line for the latest year’s flu jab one might wonder why all this in necessary. The answer lies in the flu virus itself and its ability to rapidly evolve and avoid the human immune system…

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