(HealthDay)—Mild winters where few people catch the flu tend to be followed by serious flu outbreaks the next year, a new study finds, suggesting that global warming could mean harsher flu seasons ahead.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes Feb 01, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
A new study suggests that patients with influenza can emit small virus-containing particles into the surrounding air during routine patient care, potentially exposing health care providers to influenza. Published in The Journal of ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes Jan 31, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Reseachers from the University of Melbourne and The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) have discovered a new protein that protects against viral infections such as influenza.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes Jan 29, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) announced its recommended 2013 adult immunization schedule that includes important updates to the pneumococcal, Tdap (tetanus, ...
Health Jan 28, 2013 | 2 / 5 (1) | 1
Every flu season, doctors instruct their patients in the basics of respiratory etiquette: To limit spread of the disease, wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough and practice good hygiene.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes Jan 25, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Controversial research into the H5N1 virus, more commonly known as bird flu, is set to recommence, after it was delayed in 2011 following a request from the US government.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes Jan 24, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—Flu remains at epidemic proportions across the United States, but flu activity decreased in some areas during the second week of January, according to FluView, a weekly influenza surveillance ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes Jan 19, 2013 | 4 / 5 (1) | 0
A flu epidemic gripping the United States is more severe than usual, striking the elderly especially hard, health authorities said Friday as they also announced 29 child victims.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes Jan 19, 2013 | 3.5 / 5 (2) | 0
(HealthDay)—As U.S. health officials recommend flu shots and frequent hand washing for protection during this season's influenza outbreak, dietitians point to another significant defense weapon: healthy ...
Health Jan 18, 2013 | 5 / 5 (4) | 0
(HealthDay)—Forty-eight states are now reporting widespread flu activity, up from 47 last week, U.S. health officials reported Friday.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes Jan 18, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
In recent weeks the intensive critical care units at University Health Network's Toronto General Hospital have used Extra Corporeal Lung Support (ECLS) to support five influenza (flu) patients in their recovery from severe ...
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes Jan 17, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Monitoring of immune function in critically ill kids with influenza reveals severe immune suppression in non-survivors
(Medical Xpress)—Investigators from 15 children's medical centers, including Nationwide Children's Hospital, observed and evaluated critically ill children with influenza to evaluate the relationships between levels of ...
Immunology Jan 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a novel type of flu vaccine, the agency announced Wednesday.
Medications Jan 17, 2013 | 5 / 5 (1) | 1
(HealthDay)—If the headlines are any indication, this year's flu season is turning out to be a whopper.
Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes Jan 16, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—Sporadic shortages of both the flu vaccine and the flu treatment Tamiflu are being reported, as this year's intense flu season continues, according to a top U.S. health official.
Medications Jan 15, 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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