Breaking News: Influenza

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Released: 4-May-2021 8:00 AM EDT
New Clinical Practice Guideline on Community Acquired Pneumonia;
American Thoracic Society (ATS)

In its latest clinical practice guideline on community-acquired pneumonia the American Thoracic Society’s guidelines panel addresses the use of nucleic acid-based testing for non-influenza viral pathogens. The guideline was published online in the May 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. An explainer video may be viewed here.

Newswise: UGA to Establish National NIH-funded Center to Fight Flu
Released: 15-Apr-2021 2:45 PM EDT
UGA to Establish National NIH-funded Center to Fight Flu
University of Georgia

The National Institutes of Health has awarded the University of Georgia a contract to establish the Center for Influenza Disease and Emergence Research (CIDER). The contract will provide $1 million in first-year funding and is expected to be supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of NIH, for seven years and up to approximately $92 million.

Released: 15-Apr-2021 10:00 AM EDT
Penn Medicine Awarded Nearly $7 Million for First Year of Contract to Study Influenza Viruses
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Penn Medicine has been selected as one of five sites across the country to serve as a Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Response (CEIRR), with the goal of better understanding influenza viruses around the world along with learning about the viral strains that have the potential to cause pandemics. Penn Medicine has been awarded nearly $7 million in first-year funding.

Newswise: Flu shot associated with fewer, less severe COVID cases
Released: 23-Mar-2021 4:25 PM EDT
Flu shot associated with fewer, less severe COVID cases
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

People who received a flu shot last flu season were significantly less likely to test positive for a COVID-19 infection when the pandemic hit, according to a new study. And those who did test positive for COVID-19 had fewer complications if they received their flu shot.

Released: 19-Mar-2021 9:00 AM EDT
New research shows substantially higher burden of COVID-19 compared to flu
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

The team at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center demonstrated that COVID-19 cases resulted in significantly more weekly hospitalizations, more use of mechanical ventilation and higher mortality rates than influenza.

Newswise: Immune cell implicated in development of lung disease following viral infection
Released: 9-Mar-2021 12:25 PM EST
Immune cell implicated in development of lung disease following viral infection
Washington University in St. Louis

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have implicated a type of immune cell in the development of chronic lung disease that sometimes is triggered following a respiratory viral infection. The evidence suggests that activation of this immune cell serves as an early switch that, when activated, drives progressive lung diseases, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Newswise: Vaccine development software shows promise in influenza effort, could help defeat coronavirus
Released: 2-Mar-2021 8:25 AM EST
Vaccine development software shows promise in influenza effort, could help defeat coronavirus
Los Alamos National Laboratory

A novel computer algorithm that could create a broadly reactive influenza vaccine for swine flu also offers a path toward a pan-influenza vaccine and possibly a pan-coronavirus vaccine as well, according to a new paper published in Nature Communications.

Newswise: Flu vaccination this season likely to be highest ever
Released: 24-Feb-2021 12:15 PM EST
Flu vaccination this season likely to be highest ever
University of Georgia

More U.S. adults reported receiving or planning to receive an influenza vaccination during the 2020-2021 flu season than ever before, according to findings from a December 2020 national survey.

Newswise: The Original Antigenic Sin: How Childhood Infections Could Shape Pandemics
15-Feb-2021 9:00 AM EST
The Original Antigenic Sin: How Childhood Infections Could Shape Pandemics
Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh

A child’s first influenza infection shapes their immunity to future airborne flu viruses – including emerging pandemic strains. But not all flu strains spur the same initial immune defense, according to new findings published today by University of Pittsburgh virologists.

Released: 10-Feb-2021 5:35 PM EST
1918 influenza signals warning for potential future pandemic reemergence
Michigan State University

As we struggle to vaccinate faster than COVID variants spread, new research from Michigan State University used health data following the initial 1918 influenza spike to provide insights to what “pandemic reemergence” will look like for our future.

Released: 4-Feb-2021 11:55 AM EST
Unusual 2019-2020 flu season linked to more transmissible strain
University of Georgia

The 2019-2020 flu season in the U.S. was unusual in a number of ways. Cases picked up in August rather than the more typical fall and early winter months, and it hit children particularly hard.

Newswise:Video Embedded houston-methodist-expert-notes-covid-19-precautions-lead-to-historic-drop-in-flu-cases
VIDEO
Released: 2-Feb-2021 2:30 PM EST
Houston Methodist expert notes COVID-19 precautions lead to historic drop in flu cases
Houston Methodist

A silver lining is emerging amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Influenza numbers are way down – 98 percent down, according to the CDC. Locally, during flu season last year, Houston Methodist’s system of eight hospitals saw 250 to 450 flu cases per week. This year the hospital system has seen only 2 to 5 flu cases per week so far. The numbers tell a striking story. Handwashing, masking and social distancing work.

Newswise: The Medical Minute: Flu cases down, but keep your guard up
Released: 28-Jan-2021 8:35 AM EST
The Medical Minute: Flu cases down, but keep your guard up
Penn State Health

Flu cases are down this year, mostly because all the COVID-19 precautions like hand-washing and social distancing. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay vigilant. In fact, it might be more important now than ever.

Released: 26-Jan-2021 9:40 AM EST
Hospital worker flu shots could mean fewer deaths
University of Georgia

Research from the University of Georgia shows that state laws promoting flu vaccinations for hospital workers can substantially reduce the number of influenza-related deaths.

Released: 21-Jan-2021 12:15 PM EST
COVID-19, influenza and suicide fuel increase in deaths among ICE detainees
University of Southern California (USC)

Thirty-five people have died in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) since April 2018, with a seven-fold increase in deaths even as the average daily population decreased by nearly a third between 2019 and 2020, a new USC study shows.

Newswise: Story Tips from Johns Hopkins Experts on COVID-19
Released: 12-Jan-2021 2:30 PM EST
Story Tips from Johns Hopkins Experts on COVID-19
Johns Hopkins Medicine

Typically, the winter months bring the peak of flu season. As cases of COVID-19 have soared in the U.S. over the past few weeks, however, cases of the flu have remained extremely low.

Released: 11-Dec-2020 12:20 PM EST
Pre-existing influenza immunity impacts antibody quality following seasonal infection and vaccination
University of Chicago Medical Center

New research by scientists at the University of Chicago suggests a person’s antibody response to influenza viruses is dramatically shaped by their pre-existing immunity, and that the quality of this response differs in individuals who are vaccinated or naturally infected. Their results highlight the importance of receiving the annual flu vaccine to induce the most protective immune response.

3-Dec-2020 2:35 PM EST
Mount Sinai Researchers Advance a Universal Influenza Virus Vaccine
Mount Sinai Health System

A vaccine that induces immune responses to a wide spectrum of influenza virus strains and subtypes has produced strong and durable results in early-stage clinical trials in humans, Mount Sinai researchers have found.

Released: 19-Nov-2020 4:05 PM EST
E-cigarette Users at Greater Risk of Poor Immune Response to Viruses
University of North Carolina School of Medicine

In a controlled study, scientists found that smokers and e-cigarette users exhibited significantly altered immune responses to a model of influenza virus infection, suggesting increased susceptibility to disease, including COVID-19

Newswise: Patients Hospitalized with Severe Cases of Flu Do Better Than Those With COVID-19
10-Nov-2020 8:00 AM EST
Patients Hospitalized with Severe Cases of Flu Do Better Than Those With COVID-19
American Thoracic Society (ATS)

A new study published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society reveals how patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19 fared, compared to those hospitalized with severe seasonal influenza. The study is believed to be the first in the U.S. to directly compare clinical features, laboratory results and health outcomes between patients with the two diseases.

Newswise: UNLV Physician: Why COVID-19 Makes Flu Shots More Important Than Ever
Released: 22-Oct-2020 1:50 PM EDT
UNLV Physician: Why COVID-19 Makes Flu Shots More Important Than Ever
University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV)

As the race for a COVID-19 vaccine intensifies, health care officials are reminding the public not to forget another important vaccine this fall: the flu shot. Flu season in the U.S. technically began in September, with illnesses expected to peak in December and February, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Less than half of Americans received a flu vaccine during the 2019-2020 flu season, and a staggering 405,000 hospitalizations and 22,000 deaths were attributed to influenza.

Released: 22-Oct-2020 11:55 AM EDT
Key details about broadly neutralizing antibodies provide insights for universal flu vaccine
University of Chicago Medical Center

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.

Released: 15-Oct-2020 3:40 PM EDT
How to stay safe from flu during the COVID-19 pandemic
University of Chicago Medical Center

University of Chicago Medicine infectious diseases expert Dr. Allison Bartlett explains what to know to stay safe this winter from both influenza and COVID-19.

Released: 4-Oct-2020 10:05 AM EDT
Battling Flu During the Pandemic
Rutgers University-New Brunswick

A Rutgers infectious disease expert explains why the flu vaccination is more important than ever this year

Released: 2-Oct-2020 4:45 PM EDT
Users of blood pressure medicine have a lower risk of dying from influenza and pneumonia
Aarhus University

Drugs to lower blood pressure of the type ACE inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers reduce the mortality rate of influenza and pneumonia.

Newswise: Why It's More Important Than Ever to Get Your Flu Shot This Year
Released: 1-Oct-2020 8:05 PM EDT
Why It's More Important Than Ever to Get Your Flu Shot This Year
Cedars-Sinai

This year's flu season won't be like any other, due to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Because the flu and COVID-19 can present in similar ways, anyone who experiences overlapping symptoms of the two viruses may have to assume it's COVID-19 unless testing is performed, according to Cedars-Sinai experts.

Newswise: Marriott Library digital exhibit finds echoes of today’s pandemic news in century-old headlines
Released: 28-Sep-2020 12:05 PM EDT
Marriott Library digital exhibit finds echoes of today’s pandemic news in century-old headlines
University of Utah

The J. Willard Marriott Library is launching a new digital exhibit to explore the 1918 flu pandemic in Utah through contemporary newspaper articles. The articles show how the issues and divisions that have appeared in the COVID-19 pandemic are, unfortunately, nothing new.

Newswise: World Lung Day 2020: Respiratory Groups Call for Research to Prevent, Detect and Treat Respiratory Infections
Released: 25-Sep-2020 9:45 AM EDT
World Lung Day 2020: Respiratory Groups Call for Research to Prevent, Detect and Treat Respiratory Infections
American Thoracic Society (ATS)

Today, on World Lung Day (WLD), the American Thoracic Society is united with members of the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) and WLD partner organizations to advocate for respiratory health globally and call for more research to prevent, detect and treat respiratory infections.

Newswise: Antibodies protect against wide range of influenza B virus strains
22-Sep-2020 11:50 AM EDT
Antibodies protect against wide range of influenza B virus strains
Washington University in St. Louis

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.

Newswise: Flu Season Returns As The COVID-19 Pandemic Continues
Released: 23-Sep-2020 2:00 PM EDT
Flu Season Returns As The COVID-19 Pandemic Continues
Johns Hopkins Medicine

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues with no end in sight, the annual flu season emerges once again. Cases of the flu have already begun to surface around the nation, and there are some reports of co-infection with COVID-19. Johns Hopkins Medicine experts say now is the time to take action to fight against the flu. Doctors recommend that everyone age 6 months and older get the flu vaccine each year to prevent infection from the virus or reduce the severity of the illness.

Released: 22-Sep-2020 5:05 PM EDT
New vaccine strategy harnesses ‘foot soldier’ T-cells to provide protection against influenza
University of Wisconsin-Madison

As Americans begin pulling up their sleeves for an annual flu vaccine, researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have provided new insights into an alternative vaccine approach that provides broader protection against seasonal influenza.

Released: 18-Sep-2020 4:05 PM EDT
Claims circulating on social media stating that the common cold or flu can be mistaken for COVID-19 are misleading
Newswise

The claims rely on the faulty assumption that there is no method to distinguish COVID-19 from the common cold and the flu.

Newswise: How Will COVID-19 Affect Flu Season?
Released: 16-Sep-2020 9:00 AM EDT
How Will COVID-19 Affect Flu Season?
Cedars-Sinai

With flu season fast approaching, health officials are urging the public to help contain the spread of influenza and avoid another outbreak amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The two viruses are very similar, and it's going to make this flu season very challenging.

Newswise: Flu Season Meets the COVID-19 Pandemic: Johns Hopkins Medicine Experts Available
Released: 8-Sep-2020 9:00 AM EDT
Flu Season Meets the COVID-19 Pandemic: Johns Hopkins Medicine Experts Available
Johns Hopkins Medicine

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the world in sometimes devastating and unexpected ways, a more well-known illness — the flu — will make its annual debut in the coming weeks. Flu activity tends to increase in October and can run as late as May. It’s too soon to tell how flu season will definitively affect the current pandemic. However, Johns Hopkins Medicine experts say prevention will be key in reducing the spread of both illnesses, including getting an annual flu vaccine, washing hands, wearing a face mask or covering, and maintaining proper physical distancing.

Newswise: The Medical Minute: What to expect when COVID-19 meets flu season
Released: 3-Sep-2020 11:25 AM EDT
The Medical Minute: What to expect when COVID-19 meets flu season
Penn State Health

The combining of the COVID-19 pandemic and seasonal flu could make this the best influenza season ever or the worst. Our experts explain why in this week’s Medical Minute.

28-Aug-2020 1:50 PM EDT
Study provides insight on how to build a better flu vaccine
Washington University in St. Louis

Repeated exposure to influenza viruses may undermine the effectiveness of the annual flu vaccine. A team of researchers led by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has developed an approach to assess whether a vaccine activates the kind of immune cells needed for long-lasting immunity against new influenza strains. The findings could aid efforts to design an improved flu vaccine.

Newswise:Video Embedded study-confirms-link-between-influenza-heart-complications
VIDEO
Released: 27-Aug-2020 3:55 PM EDT
Study confirms link between influenza, heart complications
UW Medicine

The findings, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, underscore need to get a flu shot early, the lead researcher says.

19-Aug-2020 8:55 AM EDT
Live Press Conference: Studying viral outbreaks in single cells could reveal new ways to defeat them (video)
American Chemical Society (ACS)

A press conference on this topic will be held Tuesday, Aug. 20, at 9 a.m. Eastern time online at www.acs.org/fall2020pressconferences.

Newswise:Video Embedded studying-viral-outbreaks-in-single-cells-could-reveal-new-ways-to-defeat-them-video
VIDEO
11-Aug-2020 8:00 AM EDT
Studying viral outbreaks in single cells could reveal new ways to defeat them (video)
American Chemical Society (ACS)

Many viruses mutate so quickly that identifying vaccines or treatments is like trying to hit a moving target. Now, scientists report a new technique that can detect minor changes in RNA sequences. They present their results today at the American Chemical Society Fall 2020 Virtual Meeting & Expo.

Newswise: Single-Dose Flu Drug Reduces Spread Within Households
Released: 13-Jul-2020 11:20 AM EDT
Single-Dose Flu Drug Reduces Spread Within Households
University of Virginia Health System

Only 1.9% of uninfected household contacts who took a single dose of baloxavir marboxil came down with the flu.

Released: 8-Jun-2020 5:05 PM EDT
To Better Understand COVID-19, Researchers Review Aging, Immune Response to Viral Infections
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

As clinicians learn about a new disease in real-time, researchers are also investigating what lessons from other respiratory infections could apply to COVID-19.

Released: 14-May-2020 1:50 PM EDT
Assessment of deaths from COVID-19, seasonal influenza
JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association

Publicly available data were used to analyze the number of deaths from seasonal influenza deaths compared with deaths from COVID-19.

Released: 27-Apr-2020 9:00 AM EDT
“Dirty” Mice Could Help Make a More Effective Flu Vaccine
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB)

A new study calls into question the reliance on disease-free laboratory mice for testing new influenza (flu) vaccines.

Released: 2-Apr-2020 12:30 PM EDT
UW–Madison, FluGen, Bharat Biotech to develop CoroFlu, a coronavirus vaccine
University of Wisconsin-Madison

An international collaboration of virologists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the vaccine companies FluGen and Bharat Biotech has begun the development and testing of a unique vaccine against COVID-19 called CoroFlu.


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