Medicine

Did researchers just take a big step toward a universal flu vaccine?

Did researchers just take a big step toward a universal flu vaccine?

"Most of the time people who get sick with influenza recover and do well", said Dr. Richard Martinello, director of infection control at Yale New Haven Hospital.

"Nothing is going to come out next year but there is certainly a lot of research and development on how to develop a better flu vaccine, meaning can we develop one shot that would cover for every type of flu".

Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease physician in Pittsburgh, says the H3N2 virus is "notorious for causing severe flu seasons".

Since 2010, the CDC estimates there have been between 9.2 and 60.8 million flu cases each year.

A nasty flu season is only getting worse in the U.S.

"This year we don't have a very good vaccine match, so the vaccine ethicacy is fairly low for this particular flu season", Shannon McBee, influenza coordinator for the state Department of Health and Human Resources, told Metronews.

The agency said cases of flu-linked pneumonias and deaths remain above the "epidemic threshold", as the nation's emergency rooms continue to crowd with flu patients. National health officials say 2018 is the first year in more than a decade in which the entire country is grappling with high numbers of flu cases at the same time.

Regular flu viruses are known for their ability to evade the immune system, but this engineered virus showed it "is hypersensitive to one of the body's primary immune defense mechanisms", said the report.

More news: Greeks Protest Over Neighbor's Use of the Name Macedonia

The study provides new evidence for the potential importance of airborne transmission because of the large quantities of infectious virus researchers found in the exhaled breath from people suffering from flu. Meanwhile, in MS, more than 100 nursing homes have been hard hit by flu outbreaks.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's report for the week ending January 13, the influenza virus has been widespread throughout 49 states (Hawaii being the exception) and Puerto Rico.

"Thus, sneezing does not appear to make an important contribution to influenza virus shedding in aerosols".

While scientists hunt those answers, "it's folly to predict" what a next pandemic might bring, Fauci said. But they also found infectious flu virus in eight of the 23 samples without any coughing.

Why do some people get sick and others do not, even if both people have been infected and are equally healthy?

"If you get flu and then you get pneumonia on top of your flu, which is what happens to a lot of these people, you're not gonna do well", he said. Health officials say that even if a person does get the flu after having the shot, the severity and duration of the illness is significantly reduced. "You'd want something to block infection if possible", he said. That's in part because there are so many strains, and the virus is prone to mutations that change its virulence and transmissibility.

"We're seeing more severe illness, mainly with the H3N2". Another heavily contributing factor was the fact that there were no vaccines or drugs at that time to prevent its spread. Oh, and wash your hands often.


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