Current Influenza News and Events

Current Influenza News and Events, Influenza News Articles.
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New study explains important cause of fatal influenza
It is largely unknown why influenza infections lead to an increased risk of bacterial pneumonia. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have now described important findings leading to so-called superinfections, which claim many lives around the world every year. The study is published in the journal PNAS, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and can also contribute to research on COVID-19. (2020-11-25)

New therapy for flu may help in fight against COVID-19
A new therapy for influenza virus infections that may also prove effective against many other pathogenic virus infections, including HIV and COVID-19, has been developed by Purdue University scientists. The Purdue team's approach uses a targeted therapy approach against the virus infections. (2020-11-24)

COVID-19: Air quality influences the pandemic
An interdisciplinary team from the University of Geneva and the ETH Zürich spin-off Meteodat investigated possible interactions between acutely elevated levels of fine particulate matter and the virulence of the coronavirus disease. Their results suggest that high concentrations of particles less than 2.5 micrometers in size may modulate, or even amplify, the waves of SARS-CoV-2 contamination and explain in part the particular profile of the COVID-19 pandemic. (2020-11-24)

The drug aprotinin inhibits entry of SARS-CoV2 in host cells
In order for the SARS-CoV2 virus to enter host cells, its ''spike'' protein has to be cleaved by the cell's own enzymes - proteases. The protease inhibitor aprotinin can prevent cell infection, as scientists at Goethe University, the University of Kent and the Hannover Medical School have now discovered. An aprotinin aerosol is already approved in Russia for the treatment of influenza and could readily be tested for the treatment of COVID-19. (2020-11-23)

Study: COVID-19 infection combined with blood clots worsen patient outcomes
While respiratory issues continue to be the most common symptom of a COVID-19 infection, new research indicates the disease could also be associated with an increased tendency of the blood to clot, leading to a higher risk of death from COVID-19. (2020-11-23)

How the flu virus spreads within cities
New insights into the local transmission of seasonal influenza may be valuable for planning interventions to combat the spread of respiratory diseases within cities, according to a study published November 19, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Nicola Müller and Tanja Stadler of ETH Zürich, and colleagues. (2020-11-19)

High-dose equal to standard flu vaccine for risk of death or heart, lung hospitalization
A high-dose, trivalent influenza vaccine was no more effective than the standard-dose quadrivalent vaccine at reducing the risk of death or hospitalization for heart or lung-related causes among patients with heart disease. While overall there were few serious side effects in both vaccine groups, those who received the high-dose vaccine had more injection-related side effects such as pain, swelling and muscle aches. (2020-11-17)

Are e-cigarette users at greater risk of poor immune response to flu, COVID?
In a controlled study of smokers, nonsmokers, and e-cigarette users, University of North Carolina School of Medicine researchers found that e-cigarette users exhibited significantly altered immune responses to a model of influenza virus infection, suggesting increased susceptibility to disease, including possibly COVID-19. (2020-11-17)

Study: Respiratory failure in COVID-19 usually not driven by cytokine storm
A study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis showed that, contrary to expectation, most people with severe COVID-19 do not suffer from unbridled inflammation. The findings suggest that anti-inflammatory therapies may not be helpful for most COVID-19 patients. (2020-11-13)

Researchers identify promising new compounds to potentially treat novel coronaviruses
Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) have discovered new drug compounds to potentially treat the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This finding could lead to the development of new broad-spectrum antiviral drugs that target viruses such as influenza, Ebola and coronaviruses. (2020-11-13)

Chemists discover the structure of a key coronavirus protein
MIT chemists have determined the molecular structure of a protein found in the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This protein forms a cation-selective channel and plays a key role in the virus's ability to replicate itself. If researchers could devise ways to block this channel, they may be able to reduce the pathogenicity of the virus and interfere with viral replication. (2020-11-12)

How will COVID-19 affect our next generation?
Exposure to COVID-19 could pose a risk to the health and aging of individuals who aren't even born yet, according to a newly published analysis. By the end of 2020, approximately 300,000 infants could be born to mothers infected by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Millions more will be born into families who have experienced tremendous stress and upheaval due to the pandemic even if they haven't been infected themselves. (2020-11-12)

Sorting out viruses with machine learning
Researchers at Osaka University created a machine-learning system to identify single viral particles that cause respiratory diseases, including coronavirus, using silicon nanopores. The method does not require labels or reagents and may lead to much cheaper and rapid detection of viruses that cause infectious diseases such as COVID-19. (2020-11-11)

Large, delayed outbreaks of endemic diseases possible following COVID-19 controls
Measures such as mask wearing and social distancing that are key to reducing coronavirus infection have also greatly reduced the incidence of other diseases, such as influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). But Princeton researchers report that current reductions in these common respiratory infections, however, may increase people's susceptibility to these diseases, resulting in large future outbreaks when they begin circulating again. (2020-11-09)

The role of the Sun in the spread of viral respiratory diseases
Why do most viral epidemics spread cyclically in autumn and winter in the globe's temperate regions? According to an interdisciplinary team of researchers of the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics, the University of Milan, the Lombardy regional agency for the environment and the Don Gnocchi Foundation, the answer is intimately related to our Sun (2020-11-02)

A.I. tool provides more accurate flu forecasts
Yue Ning and her team at Stevens Institute of Technology trained their A.I. tool using real-world state and regional data from the U.S. and Japan, then tested its forecasts against historical flu data. By incorporating location data, the A.I. system is able to outperform other state-of-the-art forecasting methods, delivering up to an 11% increase in accuracy and predicting influenza outbreaks up to 15 weeks in advance. (2020-11-02)

New drug candidate for the treatment of COVID-19
Researchers from the University of Kent, the Goethe-University in Frankfurt am Main (Germany), and the Hannover Medical School (Germany) have identified a drug with the potential to provide a treatment for COVID-19. (2020-10-30)

ICE detention centers saw sustained outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, says study
More than a dozen US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers experienced large, repeated outbreaks of vaccine-preventable illnesses in the last three years, according to a new study by researchers at UC San Francisco. (2020-10-29)

Genetic analysis system yields new insights into bacterial pneumonia
A team of infectious disease researchers has developed a new method to identify virulence genes in Streptococcus pneumoniae, the leading cause of bacterial pneumonia. Using this technique in a mouse model of pneumonia, they were able to gain new insights into the progression of the disease and its interaction with the flu virus. (2020-10-28)

Why are some COVID-19 infected people asymptomatic?
Immune cells in the lungs are important for the immune system's recognition and fight against viruses. However, the virus that produces COVID-19 is not recognised by these cells, as the virus may hide its genomic material, and as a result the cells' immune system against the virus is not activated. This may help explain why some people with COVID-19 are asymptomatic in the early stages of the disease. (2020-10-28)

Details about broadly neutralizing antibodies provide insights for universal flu vaccine
New research from an immunology team at the University of Chicago may shed light on the challenges of developing a universal flu vaccine that would provide long-lasting and broad protection against influenza viruses. (2020-10-22)

Perspective: Understanding COVID-19 vaccine efficacy
In this Perspective, Marc Lipsitch and Natalie Dean consider what would happen if a COVID-19 vaccine offers little to no protection in high-risk groups, like the elderly and those with comorbidities, yet is able to reduce infection or infectiousness in younger adults. (2020-10-21)

Untreated sleep apnea is associated with flu hospitalization
As we approach flu season, adults with obstructive sleep apnea may want to take extra precautions. A study published online as an accepted paper in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine is the first to find that patients with sleep apnea who did not use CPAP therapy were more likely to be hospitalized with the flu. (2020-10-19)

Public health experts fear devastating impact of flu and COVID-19 on vulnerable adults
The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) issued a new Call to Action report detailing the risks of co-infection with influenza (flu) and COVID-19 in adults with chronic health conditions, and the importance of flu vaccination during the 2020-2021 season. The goals of the report, The Dangers of Influenza and COVID-19 in Adults with Chronic Health Conditions, have been supported by more than 35 leading medical organizations. (2020-10-15)

Predicting influenza epidemics
Researchers at Linköping University, Sweden, have developed a unique method to predict influenza epidemics by combining several sources of data. The forecasts can be used, for example, when planning healthcare provision, such that resources can be redistributed in the best possible manner and give everyone the best possible care during an epidemic. (2020-10-15)

Will the COVID-19 virus become endemic?
A new article in the journal Science by Columbia Mailman School researchers Jeffrey Shaman and Marta Galanti explores the potential for the COVID-19 virus to become endemic, a regular feature producing recurring outbreaks in humans. (2020-10-15)

Global study identifies common vulnerabilities across SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-1 and MERS coronaviruses
There are common vulnerabilities among three lethal coronaviruses, SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV, such as frequently hijacked cellular pathways, that could lead to promising targets for broad coronavirus inhibition, according to a study by an international research team that includes scientists from the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University. (2020-10-15)

Will SARS-CoV-2 become endemic?
To date, a few verified repeat SARS-CoV-2 infections have been documented around the world. (2020-10-14)

Computer model uses virus 'appearance' to better predict winter flu strains
Combining genetic and experimental data into models about the influenza virus can help predict more accurately which strains will be most common during the next winter, says a study published recently in eLife. (2020-10-13)

Stopping lethal lung damage from the flu with a natural human protein
The raging lung inflammation that can contribute to death from the flu can be stopped in its tracks by a drug derived from a naturally occurring human protein, a new animal study suggests. (2020-10-12)

Identification of a viral factor that impairs immune responses in COVID-19 patients
A research team at The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo (IMSUT) aimed to characterize the viral factor(s) determining immune activation upon SARS-CoV-2 infection and found that ORF3b, a gene encoded by SARS-CoV-2, is a potent IFN antagonist. (2020-10-09)

A 2014 seal flu illustrates how avian flu viruses can adapt to spread between mammals
In a study appearing October 7, 2020 in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, researchers pinpoint the mammalian adaptation mutations that appeared during a deadly 2014 avian influenza outbreak in seals. They show that these mutations also made the virus transmissible via the air in ferrets and that similar mutations play a recurring and consistent role in making avian influenza viruses more transmissible between other mammal species. (2020-10-07)

Hospitalized COVID-19 patients are younger, healthier than influenza patients
Patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were more often male, younger, and had fewer underlying medical conditions than hospitalized influenza patients, found an international study led by data scientists at Columbia University. (2020-10-06)

Influenza vaccination may provide roadmap to prevent COVID-19 in CV disease patients
Seasonal influenza vaccine development and mass production, as well as three international influenza vaccine cardiovascular outcomes trials currently underway, may inform future efforts targeted at developing and evaluating vaccine strategies for COVID-19, according to a state-of-the-art review in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Authors of the paper also evaluated whether existing flu trial networks could offer primary and secondary prevention strategies for patients with cardiovascular disease at risk of complications from COVID-19. (2020-10-05)

Vaccine ingredients could be hiding in small molecule libraries
Many vaccines include ingredients called adjuvants that help make them more effective by eliciting a stronger immune response. Identifying potential adjuvants just got easier, thanks to an approach described by scientists at Kyoto University's Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) and colleagues in the journal Angewandte Chemie. (2020-10-02)

Users of blood pressure medicine have a lower risk of dying from influenza and pneumonia
Thousands of Danes use ACE inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers against elevated blood pressure or heart problems, and they may have an improved chance of surviving severe influenza or pneumonia infections. This is shown by a study from the Department of Clinical Epidemiology at Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark. (2020-10-02)

1 in 3 parents plan to skip flu shots for their kids during COVID-19 pandemic
The pandemic doesn't seem to be changing parents' minds about the importance of the flu vaccine. (2020-09-28)

How to better understand what makes a virus win during transmission?
The framework, published in Frontiers in Microbiology, was applied on transmission data of the influenza virus, and offers to be a new tool for anticipating the consequences of microbial diversity and optimizing disease control measures. (2020-09-25)

Adequate levels of vitamin D reduces complications, death among COVID-19 patients
Hospitalized COVID-19 patients who were vitamin D sufficient, with a blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D of at least 30 ng/mL (a measure of vitamin D status), had a significant decreased risk for adverse clinical outcomes including becoming unconscious, hypoxia (body starved for oxygen) and death. In addition, they had lower blood levels of an inflammatory marker (C-reactive protein) and higher blood levels of lymphocytes (a type of immune cell to help fight infection). (2020-09-25)

Antibodies protect against wide range of influenza B virus strains
Researchers have identified two antibodies that protect mice against lethal infections of influenza B virus, report scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Together with an antibody that targets the other major kind of influenza viruses that infect people -- influenza A -- these antibodies potentially could form the basis of a broad-spectrum flu drug that could treat almost all flu cases. (2020-09-24)

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