The world is unprepared for a massive virus outbreak, the deputy chief of the World Health Organization warned Tuesday, amid fears that H7N9 bird flu striking China could morph into a form that spreads easily among people.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 7 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
The level of immunity to the recently circulating H7N9 influenza virus in an urban and rural population in Vietnam is very low, according to the first population level study to examine human immunity to the virus, which was ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 11 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
No new human cases of the H7N9 virus have been recorded in China for a week, national health authorities said, for the first time since the outbreak began in March.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 18 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A Nobel prize-winning scientist Tuesday played down "shock-horror scenarios" that a new virus strain will emerge with the potential to kill millions of people.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes 18 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
A novel vaccine study from South Dakota State University (SDSU) will headline the groundbreaking research that will be unveiled at the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists' (AAPS) National Biotechnology Conference ...
Medical research May 20, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
It is impossible to predict the evolution of China's human H7N9 bird flu outbreak as researchers are still trying to understand the source of human transmission, the head of the World Health Organisation said Monday.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes May 20, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
A new computer model could help scientists predict when a particular strain of avian influenza might become infectious from bird to human, according to a report to be published in the International Journal Data Mining an ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes May 20, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and Switzerland's Cytos Biotechnology AG today announced that the first healthy volunteer has been dosed in a Phase 1 clinical trial with their ...
Medications May 17, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 1
The United States government public health agency, the CDC, pledges "To base all public health decisions on the highest quality scientific data, openly and objectively derived." But Peter Doshi, a postdoctoral fellow at Johns ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes May 16, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
The virus has already killed her mother, and Kelly Gu's father lies critically ill with H7N9 bird flu in a Shanghai hospital bed—the only couple both infected in China's outbreak of the disease.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes May 16, 2013 | 3 / 5 (1) | 0
Scientists at the University of California, Davis, detected the H1N1 (2009) virus in free-ranging northern elephant seals off the central California coast a year after the human pandemic began, according ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes May 15, 2013 | not rated yet | 1 |
(Medical Xpress)—The newest public health threat in Africa, scientists have found, is coming from a previously unknown source: the banded mongoose. Leptospirosis, the disease is called. And the banded mongoose ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes May 14, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Pregnant mothers' exposure to the flu was associated with a nearly fourfold increased risk that their child would develop bipolar disorder in adulthood, in a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. The findings ...
Psychology & Psychiatry May 14, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Earlier this month, the U.S. government declared that the emerging H7N9 bird flu "poses a significant potential for a public health emergency." The virus, a relative of other bird flus we've seen previously ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes May 14, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Researchers have identified the dose of dengue virus in human blood that is required to infect mosquitoes when they bite. Mosquitoes are essential for transmitting the virus between people so the findings have important implications ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes May 13, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is an infectious disease caused by RNA viruses of the family Orthomyxoviridae (the influenza viruses), that affects birds and mammals. The most common symptoms of the disease are chills, fever, sore throat, muscle pains, severe headache, coughing, weakness/fatigue and general discomfort. Although it is often confused with other influenza-like illnesses, especially the common cold, influenza is a more severe disease than the common cold and is caused by a different type of virus. Influenza may produce nausea and vomiting, particularly in children, but these symptoms are more common in the unrelated gastroenteritis, which is sometimes, inaccurately, referred to as "stomach flu." Flu can occasionally cause either direct viral pneumonia or secondary bacterial pneumonia.
Typically, influenza is transmitted through the air by coughs or sneezes, creating aerosols containing the virus. Influenza can also be transmitted by direct contact with bird droppings or nasal secretions, or through contact with contaminated surfaces. Airborne aerosols have been thought to cause most infections, although which means of transmission is most important is not absolutely clear. Influenza viruses can be inactivated by sunlight, disinfectants and detergents. As the virus can be inactivated by soap, frequent hand washing reduces the risk of infection.
Influenza spreads around the world in seasonal epidemics, resulting in the deaths of between &10000000000250000000000250,000 and &10000000000500000000000500,000 people every year, up to millions in some pandemic years. On average 41,400 people died each year in the United States between 1979 and 2001 from influenza. In 2010 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States changed the way it reports the 30 year estimates for deaths. Now they are reported as a range from a low of about 3,300 deaths to a high of 49,000 per year.
Three influenza pandemics occurred in the 20th century and killed tens of millions of people, with each of these pandemics being caused by the appearance of a new strain of the virus in humans. Often, these new strains appear when an existing flu virus spreads to humans from other animal species, or when an existing human strain picks up new genes from a virus that usually infects birds or pigs. An avian strain named H5N1 raised the concern of a new influenza pandemic, after it emerged in Asia in the 1990s, but it has not evolved to a form that spreads easily between people. In April 2009 a novel flu strain evolved that combined genes from human, pig, and bird flu, initially dubbed "swine flu" and also known as influenza A/H1N1, emerged in Mexico, the United States, and several other nations. The World Health Organization officially declared the outbreak to be a pandemic on June 11, 2009 (see 2009 flu pandemic). The WHO's declaration of a pandemic level 6 was an indication of spread, not severity, the strain actually having a lower mortality rate than common flu outbreaks.
Vaccinations against influenza are usually made available to people in developed countries. Farmed poultry is often vaccinated to avoid decimation of the flocks. The most common human vaccine is the trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV) that contains purified and inactivated antigens against three viral strains. Typically, this vaccine includes material from two influenza A virus subtypes and one influenza B virus strain. The TIV carries no risk of transmitting the disease, and it has very low reactivity. A vaccine formulated for one year may be ineffective in the following year, since the influenza virus evolves rapidly, and new strains quickly replace the older ones. Antiviral drugs such as the neuraminidase inhibitor oseltamivir can be used to treat influenza, however the effectiveness is difficult to determine due to much of the data remaining unpublished.
This text uses material from Wikipedia and is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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