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MOSTLY MICROBES AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES

Welcome to Mostly Microbes and Infectious Diseases. David Ojcius posts newspaper and journal articles in the broad field of microbiology.

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How to Boost Your Immune System During Cold and Flu Season

4 Ways to Boost Your Immune System Ahead of #Cold & #Flu Season • Exercise • Get enough sleep • Eat healthy diet • Exercise • Get enough sleep • Eat healthy diet • Keep up pandemic precautions As the days shorten and people trade their tank tops and shorts for sweaters and tights, the turn of autumn signals another new beginning: the start of flu and cold season, and #Covid winter No. 3. According to Dr. Helen Chu, an epidemiologist and infectious-disease physician at the Un

China reports 2 more human cases of H5N6 bird flu

Two more people in mainland China have tested positive for #H5N6#birdflu, raising the number of human cases reported so far this year to 10. Two more people in mainland China have tested positive for H5N6 bird #flu, raising the number of human cases of #avianflu reported so far this year to 10, officials say. A recent spike in human cases has led to calls for increased surveillance. The Hong Kong Health Department said in a statement that it was notified about two additional

Two people in China die from bird flu. Three others in hospital. Five new cases of virus confirmed

2 people in China die from #H5N6 #birdflu while 3 others are in hospital. 5 people were infected with the #flu in December; 2 have died, 2 more are 'critical'. 4 out of 5 were exposed to poultry. So far, no cases of human-to-human transmission have been reported. #China has reported two deaths from #avianflu after confirming five new cases of H5N6, with the World Health Organisation calling for 'urgent' action. Experts have been concerned at the rising number of bird flu case

A universal flu vaccine may be the next big mRNA breakthrough for Moderna and Pfizer

Scientists at Pfizer & Moderna are using #mRNA technology in exploring ways to develop a universal #FluVaccine. Existing #flu vaccines are only 40% to 60% effective in preventing infection, & sometimes by a flu season’s end only 10% effective. The research and development that led to the Covid-19 vaccines have boosted efforts to find a more powerful, longer-lasting flu vaccine, perhaps taking steps towards virologists’ holy grail: a one-time, universal flu jab. Scientists at

France orders poultry lockdown as bird flu spreads across Europe

French farmers ordered to keep their poultry indoors due to the heightened risk of #birdflu being spread by migratory birds. A similar measure was adopted in the Netherlands after a case of the highly-contagious H5 strain of bird #flu was discovered. The order published in the French official journal follows a similar measure adopted in the Netherlands last week after a case of the highly-contagious H5 strain of bird flu was discovered on a poultry farm and 36,000 birds were

China Reports a Human Case of H5N6 Bird Flu

#China Reports a Human Case of #H5N6 Bird #Flu #avianflu #birdflu #influenza A man has been hospitalized in southwestern China after contracting the H5N6 strain of avian flu, Chinese state news media reported on Thursday, a reminder that the world is full of flu viruses even during a coronavirus pandemic. The man, 55, was hospitalized in Bazhong, a city in the southwestern province of Sichuan, after coming down with a fever and testing positive for the virus on July 6, the st

Case of Human Bird Flu Reported in China

Case of Human #BirdFlu Reported in #China #flu #avianflu #influenza A man in China has been hospitalized after contracting a strain of avian flu, a state broadcaster reported Thursday. The 55-year-old man tested positive for #H5N6, or avian influenza A, in Bazhong City, in China's southwestern Sichuan Province, the broadcaster said. The man began showing symptoms of a fever on June 30 and tested positive for the bird flu on July 6. Local authorities have activated an emergenc

Your next vaccine could be grown in a tobacco plant

Your next vaccine could be grown in a tobacco plant. Although there are no plant-based vaccines available for human use, several are in the pipeline, including plant-based #COVID19 & #flu vaccines. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed glaring gaps in the world’s current vaccine production capacities. Conventional vaccine manufacturing is costly and complex. As a result, only a handful of countries have the technology, human resources, and funds to make vaccines; those that are a

Life after the 1918 flu has lessons for our post-pandemic world.

As the #COVID19 pandemic fades, "some existing trends will remain," such as recent expansion & use of online shopping, telehealth services, hybrid work models & technology for virtual gatherings. A widespread sense that time has split into two -- or pandemics creating a "before" and "after" -- is an experience that's associated with many traumatic events. That's the reflection of Elizabeth Outka, a professor of English at the University of Richmond and author of "Viral Modern

How a Flu Virus Shut Down the Us Economy in 1872 - By Infecting Horses

The equine #influenza first appeared in horses near Toronto. Within days most animals in the city’s crowded stables caught the #flu virus. The US government tried to ban Canadian horses, but acted too late. In 1872 the U.S. economy was growing as the young nation industrialized and expanded westward. Then in the autumn, a sudden shock paralyzed social and economic life. It was an energy crisis of sorts, but not a shortage of fossil fuels. Rather, the cause was a virus that sp

The role of respiratory epithelium in host defense against influenza virus infection

#influenza #flu #infection The respiratory epithelium is the major interface between the environment and the host. Sophisticated barrier, sensing, anti-microbial and immune regulatory mechanisms have evolved to help maintain homeostasis and to defend the lung against foreign substances and pathogens. During influenza virus infection, these specialized structural cells and populations of resident immune cells come together to mount the first response to the virus, one which wo

Changes of avian influenza virus subtypes before and after vaccination in live poultry in China

#avianflu #flu #influenza #birdflu #China We investigated fluctuations in the detection rates of avian influenza virus (AIV) subtypes H5, H7, and H9 in live bird markets (LBMs) in Nanchang city, Chinese province Jiangxi, before and after the Chinese nationwide AIV vaccination campaign against highly pathogenic (HP) AIV subtype H5 and H7. Samples were tested for nucleic acid of type A avian influenza virus by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction technology

Some Pandemic Health Habits Deserve to Stay

#flu #influenza #masks #COVID19 #coronavirus #socialdistancing #handwashing In the West, we have learned that mask wearing is very helpful in stopping the spread of all kinds of respiratory illnesses; something people in many Asian countries have known for years. When the COVID pandemic finally retreats, the world will be different. We will have lost millions of lives—a tragic disaster that will devastate families and communities for decades to come. Other changes, of a less

The Pandemic Might Have Killed Off Some Flu Strains for Good

#flu #influenza #masks #publichealth #COVID19 #coronavirus #pandemic Scientists say that two common strains of the seasonal flu have seemingly vanished from circulation, likely due to public health measures like mask-wearing meant to slow the covid-19 pandemic. Though it will take time to confirm the disappearing act, the unexpected good news could make developing next season’s flu shot all the easier. Every year, various types of the flu spread across the world, usually foll

A man in China is found to have H10N3 bird flu, a reminder of a continued ‘concern for pandemic flu’

#flu #avianflu #birdflu #influenza #H10N3 A 41-year-old man in China’s eastern Jiangsu Province is the first known human to be infected with a strain of bird flu known as H10N3, China’s National Health Commission said on Tuesday — a development that experts said merited close monitoring because of an underlying continued risk of pandemic flus. Avian viruses do not typically spread among humans, but they can pose a danger to humans if they mix with a human virus, said Raina Ma

NIH launches clinical trial of universal influenza vaccine candidate

#flu #influenza #fluseason #fluvacccine #vaccines A first-in-human, Phase 1 trial assessing the safety and immunogenicity of an investigational nanoparticle influenza vaccine designed to provide long-lasting protection against multiple flu virus strains has begun at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Healthy participants 18 to 50 years old will receive either a licensed seasonal influenza vaccine or the experimental vaccine, FluMos-v1. Sc

China reports first human case of H10N3 bird flu

#H10N3 #flu #influenza #birdflu #avianflu A 41-year-old man in China's eastern province of Jiangsu has been confirmed as the first human case of infection with the H10N3 strain of bird flu, China's National Health Commission (NHC) said on Tuesday. The man, a resident of the city of Zhenjiang, was hospitalised on April 28 after developing a fever and other symptoms, the NHC said in a statement. He was diagnosed as having the H10N3 avian influenza virus on May 28, it said, but

China reports human case of H10N3 bird flu, a possible first

#H10N3 #flu #birdflu #avianflu #influenza A man in eastern China has contracted what might be the world’s first human case of the H10N3 strain of bird flu, but the risk of large-scale spread is low, the government said Tuesday. The 41-year-old man in Jiangsu province, northwest of Shanghai, was hospitalized April 28 and is in stable condition, the National Health Commission said on its website. No human case of H10N3 has been reported elsewhere, the commission said. “This inf

The role of respiratory epithelium in host defence against influenza virus infection

#flu #influenza #immunology #innateimmunity The respiratory epithelium is the major interface between the environment and the host. Sophisticated barrier, sensing, anti-microbial and immune regulatory mechanisms have evolved to help maintain homeostasis and to defend the lung against foreign substances and pathogens. During influenza virus infection, these specialised structural cells and populations of resident immune cells come together to mount the first response to the vi

Emerging H5N8 avian influenza viruses

#flu #influenza #avianflu #birdflu Perspective article argues that #H5N8 avian flu represents a considerable public health concern, particularly considering the 1st human cases of H5N8 infection first reported last December. The first confirmed outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) in birds was documented in Scotland in 1959 with the influenza A H5N1 subtype, although there have been numerous suspected HPAIV outbreaks documented globally since 1878. H5N1

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