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Will the 2018 flu vaccine be effective against the deadly virus?

It is a high-stakes gamble with thousands of lives on the line. Yet twice a year, every year, the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) bets on the flu — which virus types are likely to dominate in the coming season. On this basis, a vaccine is prepared months in advance. “We cannot say for sure which virus will be circulating,” said Wenqing Zhang, head of the WHO’s global influenza programme. “What we’re doing is based on the best possible surveillance information and analysis, and basically to bet, or to project,…

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Flu virus: Why this common germ will remain a threat to your health

On a March morning 100 years ago, a soldier in Kansas reported to the infirmary with fever, muscle aches, and a sore throat. By lunchtime, records state, dozens had joined him, stricken with what would become known as the Spanish Flu. Within months, the virus infected a third of the world’s population and killed as many as 100 million people. It could happen again. While the scale of the 1918-19 flu epidemic remains unparallelled, another pandemic is inevitable, experts say. Given the limitations of available drugs, flu-triggered respiratory diseases can…

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Airborne: No need for coughing or sneezing, flu may spread just by breathing

We may pass the flu to others just by breathing, according to a study which contradicts the popular belief that people can catch the influenza virus by exposure to droplets from an infected person’s coughs or sneezes. 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. “We found that flu cases contaminated the air around them with infectious virus just by breathing, without coughing or sneezing,” said Donald…

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WHO Warns About Lack of Antibiotics: Immunity Boosting Foods for the Flu Season

A report released by World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated some shocking facts. According to it, antibiotics that are currently in clinical development are insufficient to combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance. Most of the drugs currently in the clinical phase are modifications of existing classes of antibiotics and are only short-term solutions. There are, however, very few potential treatment options. The growing resistant infections pose the greatest threat to health, including drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) which kills around 250,000 people each year. There are also very few oral antibiotics in…

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Swine flu threat grows; 600 deaths, 12.5k cases this year

Swine flu, the viral illness that became a pandemic in 2009, has made a comeback this year, claiming nearly 600 lives across the country so far this year, with close to 12,500 cases being reported.Maharashtra, with 284 deaths, is the worst affected, followed by Gujarat (75), Kerala (63) and Rajasthan (59), government data shows. In Delhi, official figures state, 241 people have tested positive for swine flu and four have died, as on July 9. Doctors said the number of deaths could be higher. “People are visiting hospitals late. This…

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