By Jon CohenNov. 30, 2018 , 2:50 PM What if instead of lining up for a flu shot of unknown effectiveness each fall, people could receive one vaccine that protects against all strains and lasts for many years, if not for life. It could spare incalculable amounts of suffering, and even eliminate terrifying pandemics. Scientists have spent decades trying to concoct such a “universal” flu vaccine and, at times, they seem to have made solid headway. But it remains an “alchemist’s dream,” as one virologist declared last month at a gathering on the topic organized by the Human Vaccines Project, a nonprofit based in New York City. An infusion of funding has boosted the research: $160 million next year from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in Bethesda, Maryland, up from $60 million 2 years ago. But the effort is an exercise in humility, several leading flu researchers acknowledged at the meeting. “Every year we learn that we … [Read more...] about Universal flu vaccine remains ‘an alchemist’s dream’
H1n1 flu vaccine
PASADENA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–October 23, 2018– Privately held InvVax, Inc. (Pasadena, CA), in collaboration with Trudeau Institute Contract Research Organization and Hong Kong University, announced that it has demonstrated preclinical success for its universal flu vaccine candidate. Arguably the most formidable characteristic of the influenza virus is its ability to rapidly mutate, owing to a high error rate of the enzymes which make copies of its genome. This leads to the generation of hundreds of circulating strains, and the constant shifting of those strains. Each year the World Health Organization predicts the most dominant circulating strains for inclusion in the next annual flu vaccine, but often those predictions are erroneous, causing the ineffectiveness of the vaccine. The constant genetic movement of the virus is known as “mutational escape.” The … [Read more...] about InvVax Achieves Preclinical Milestone with Universal Flu Vaccine Candidate
The seasonal flu shot is a yearly vaccine administered to protect against the flu, or influenza. In the United States, flu shots are recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The flu can be a very serious illness, especially in young children, adults ages 65 and over, those with underlying health conditions, and pregnant women. The flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and family from the flu, the CDC says. Strains of the flu virus are constantly changing, so a new flu vaccine is made each year. Scientists make the vaccine before the flu season starts by predicting which flu strains are likely to be the most common during the upcoming season. "Since the flu virus frequently drifts in its genetic composition, you have to reformulate the vaccine, and this is one of the reasons that people have to [get a flu shot] on an annual basis," said Dr. William Schaffner, a preventive medicine and infectious disease … [Read more...] about Flu Shot Facts & Side Effects (Updated for 2017-2018)
A recent study from the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University shows that continuous low doses of a specific type of UV light known as "far ultraviolet C" (far-UVC) light can kill airborne flu viruses without harming human tissues. The hope is that if far-UVC light could be implemented in large public spaces like airports, train stations, or stadiums, where it could be a safeguard against seasonal influenza epidemics and even influenza pandemics. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below It's well-known that broad-spectrum UVC light, which has a wavelength of 200 to 400 nanometers, can kill bacteria and viruses. It's often used to clean surgical equipment, but it can't really be used with people.“Unfortunately, conventional germicidal UV light is also a human health hazard and can lead to skin cancer and cataracts, which prevents its use in public spaces,” says study leader David J. Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research in press release. … [Read more...] about UV Light Could Zap Flu Pandemics Before They Start
By Megan Specia2015-01-01 14:42:59 UTC The flu has reached epidemic levels in the U.S. this season according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Statistics released this week, show that the influenza virus outbreak reached the epidemic threshold during the week ending Dec. 20. See also: Study: Ginseng Extract Could Help Fight Off the Flu "At this time, all of CDC's influenza surveillance systems are showing elevated flu activity, indicating that we are in the midst of this season's flu epidemic," said Erin Burns of the CDC told USA Today. According to the CDC, a total of 15 influenza related pediatric deaths have been reported during the 2014-2015 season across the U.S. The deaths were reported in nine different states: Arizona (1), Colorado (1), Florida (2), Minnesota (2), North Carolina (2), Nevada (1), Ohio (2), Texas (3), and Virginia (1). #Flu activity continues to increase in the U.S. and is high in about half of the country. More in http://t.co/dX279rigYg — CDC … [Read more...] about CDC: Flu has reached epidemic level, 15 child deaths in U.S.