Flu viruses are a major cause of death and sickness around the world, and antiviral drugs currently do not protect the most seriously ill patients. A study published March 7th by Cell Press in the journal Cell reveals that a ...
Medical research Mar 07, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 0 |
A simple new method better assesses the risks posed by emerging zoonotic viruses (those transmissible from animals to humans), according to a study published in PLOS Medicine this week. Dr. Simon Cauchemez and colleagues from I ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes Mar 05, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—New research from the University of Reading could be crucial in the fight to stop the spread of killer viruses such as HIV and avian flu.
Medical research Mar 04, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—The start of allergy season is overlapping with the cold and flu season in some parts of the United States, leading some people to wonder which ailment they have, an expert says.
Immunology Mar 03, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
A bird flu virus at the center of an international debate sits in a padlocked freezer, deep inside a University of Wisconsin-Madison lab, waiting for new government guidelines that will allow researchers to continue unlocking ...
Medical research Mar 01, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Phnom Penh on Friday ordered urgent action to stem the "worrying" number of bird flu deaths in Cambodia, following a surge in the number of fatalities from the virus.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes Mar 01, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—"Sequestration" is Washington-speak for the approximately $85 billion in annual federal spending cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011. Those cuts were originally set to take effect ...
Health Feb 28, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
An outbreak of tuberculosis in the skid row area of downtown Los Angeles may have exposed up to 4,500 individuals to the bacterium that causes the deadly disease and has left federal officials scrambling ...
Medical research Feb 28, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Higher humidity levels indoors can significantly reduce the infectivity of influenza virus particles released by coughing, according to research published February 27 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by John Noti and co ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes Feb 27, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
A study published in BMJ today finds an increased risk of narcolepsy in children and adolescents who received the A/H1N1 2009 influenza vaccine (Pandemrix) during the pandemic in England.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes Feb 26, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
A 35-year-old man has become Cambodia's eighth bird flu fatality this year, prompting concern about the spread of the virus in the country, a health official said Tuesday,
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes Feb 26, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Caffeine-related toxicity, deaths, and near-deaths are an undeniable fact. In Sweden, for example, four people died as a result of confirmed caffeine-related causes in one year. Yet caffeine use continues to grow, including ...
Health Feb 26, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 0
A recombinant Newcastle disease virus kills all kinds of prostate cancer cells, including hormone resistant cells, but leaves normal cells unscathed, according to a paper published online ahead of print in the Journal of ...
Cancer Feb 25, 2013 | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
(HealthDay)—Vaccination against influenza for the 2012/2013 flu season appears to be moderately effective in reducing the need for outpatient medical attention, but the effect is lower in the elderly, according ...
Medications Feb 25, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued new guidelines for identifying and treating a common childhood ailment that can cause a lot of misery—the ear infection.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes Feb 25, 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.
Latest Spotlight News
An experimental sleeping pill from US drug company Merck is effective at helping people fall and stay asleep, according to reviewers at the US Food and Drug Administration, which could soon approve the new drug.
1 hour ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Native peoples in regions where cameras are uncommon sometimes react with caution when their picture is taken. The fear that something must have been stolen from them to create the photo ...
8 hours ago | 4 / 5 (4) | 0 |
Activating an enzyme known to play a role in the anti-aging benefits of calorie restriction delays the loss of brain cells and preserves cognitive function in mice, according to a study published in the May ...
2 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Despite spending billions of dollars on research and development, drug companies have been unable to come up with effective treatments for dementia and Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Now, A. ...
6 hours ago | 4.8 / 5 (6) | 0 |
A drug commonly used to treat depression and anxiety may improve a stress-related heart condition in people with stable coronary heart disease, according to researchers at Duke Medicine.
3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Australian scientists have charted the path of insulin action in cells in precise detail like never before. This provides a comprehensive blueprint for understanding what goes wrong in diabetes.
8 hours ago | 4.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Researchers at USC have found that a class of pharmaceuticals can both prevent and treat Alzheimer's Disease in mice.
5 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Children with autism showed significant improvement after six months of simple sensory exercises at home using everyday items such as scents, spoons and sponges, according to UC Irvine neurobiologists.
5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
You're standing near an airport luggage carousel and your bag emerges on the conveyor belt, prompting you to spring into action. How does your brain make the shift from passively waiting to taking action when ...
6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Widely available in pharmacies and health stores, phosphatidylserine is a natural food supplement produced from beef, oysters, and soy. Proven to improve cognition and slow memory loss, it's a popular treatment for older ...
7 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |