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Articles on Viral infections

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Antibiotics do not shorten or reduce the severity of colds or flu, but they could produce adverse effects that make you feel even worse. (Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio)

Antibiotics in cold and flu season: Potentially harmful and seldom helpful

Resistant bacteria aren't the only risk posed by overprescribing antibiotics. A more immediate risk is side-effects and reactions, which a new review shows are surprisingly frequent and often severe.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria (coloured yellow) enmeshed within a human white blood cell (coloured red). MRSA is a major cause of hospital-associated infections. (NIAID)

Drug-resistant superbugs: A global threat intensified by the fight against coronavirus

Antimicrobial resistance is a public health and economic disaster waiting to happen. If we do not address this threat, by 2050 more people will die from drug-resistant infections than from cancer.
A staffer works on a ventilator-refurbishing assembly line at Bloom Energy in Sunnyvale, Calif. Bloom Energy makes hydrogen fuel cells but is now refurbishing old ventilators so hospitals can use them to treat coronavirus patients. (Beth LaBerge/KQED via AP)

Coronavirus weekly: as some countries hope to ease confinement, others are just getting started

Scientists and academics on how the world might change once this is all over, and if a return to 'normality' is even possible.
There are 20,000 FDA approved drugs. One of them might fight COVID-19, if we can find it. Peter Dazeley/The Image Bank via Getty Images

COVID-19 treatment might already exist in old drugs – we’re using pieces of the coronavirus itself to find them

Among the more than 20,000 drugs approved by the FDA, there may be some that can treat COVID-19. A team at the University of California, San Francisco, is identifying possible candidates.
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 flu comes on rapidly and symptoms get worse over the first few days. Shutterstock

We can’t predict how bad this year’s flu season will be but here’s what we know so far

The 2018 flu season was mild, while 2017 was a particularly bad year. It's impossible to predict what the 2019 flu season has in store, but we've seen more cases so far this year than usual.
What goes up must come down, and that includes the protection the flu vaccine offers against influenza. Irina Bg/Shutterstock

When’s the best time to get your flu shot?

Protection wanes after four or five months, so for most people, it makes sense to get a flu shot in mid to late May or early June so you're protected when the flu season peaks in August or September.

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