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Take Your Best Shot at Avoiding the Flu This Season

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At the doctor’s office, the focus is on you and what is going on with your health. This is your time to talk about concerns to improve your wellbeing beyond the flu season,” says Jorge Parada, MD, MPH, the medical director of the Infection Prevention and Control Program at Loyola University Health System. “You trust your store employee to help you locate items you want to buy, not to diagnose what’s causing a persistent symptom, schedule other annual health maintenance exams such as mammograms or offer expert medical advice.”

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Study Sheds Light on Asthma and Respiratory Viruses

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In a new study that compared people with and without asthma, researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found no difference in the key immune response to viruses in the lungs and breathing passages. The work suggests that a fundamental antiviral defense mechanism is intact in asthma. This means that another aspect of the immune system must explain the difficulty people with asthma have when they encounter respiratory viruses.

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Mandatory Policy Boosts Flu Vaccination Rates Among Health Care Workers

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Hospitals can greatly improve their flu vaccination rate among health care workers by using a mandatory employee vaccination policy, according to a Henry Ford Health System study. Citing its own data, Henry Ford researchers say the health system achieved employee vaccination rates of 99 percent in the first two years of its mandatory policy, in which annual vaccination compliance is a condition of employment.

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Avian Influenza Virus Isolated in Harbor Seals Poses a Threat to Humans

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A study led by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists found the avian influenza A H3N8 virus that killed harbor seals along the New England coast can spread through respiratory droplets and poses a threat to humans. The research appears in the current issue of the scientific journal Nature Communications.

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Club Cells Are “Bad Guys” During Flu Infection

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Reserachers show that a specialized subset of lung cells can shake flu infection, yet they remain stamped with an inflammatory gene signature that wreaks havoc in the lung.

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High-Dose Flu Vaccine More Effective In Elderly

High-dose influenza vaccine is 24 percent more effective than the standard-dose vaccine in protecting persons ages 65 and over against influenza illness and its complications, according to a Vanderbilt-led study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

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Wistar Scientist on Seasonal Flu Vaccine Questions and Concerns

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Bacterial Respiratory Tract Colonization Prior to Catching the Flu May Protect Against Severe Illness

Doctors have long known that people suffering from influenza are likely to do far worse (or even die) if they get a secondary infection in their lungs or airways. Infection from pneumococcus bacteria, in particular, can lead to pneumonia or a variety of other illnesses that could complicate the recovery of flu sufferers. However, Wistar researchers discovered that pneumococcus often colonizes the respiratory tract without illness and if the order of infection was reversed it could actually protect against severe flu-related illness.

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Chikungunya Fever Spreads Throughout the US

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Genes Found in Nature Yield 1918-Like Virus with Pandemic Potential

An international team of researchers has shown that circulating avian influenza viruses contain all the genetic ingredients necessary to underpin the emergence of a virus similar to the deadly 1918 influenza virus.

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