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Swine flu

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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…
Tamiflu was stockpiled amid flu outbreaks and scares. Rui Vieira/PA

Tamiflu cost us £424m yet we still don’t know much about it

Are you worried about how decisions involving public money are made? You should be. Last week, the National Audit Office disclosed that the Department of Health spent £424 million on the anti-flu drug…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…

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