Unfortunately the winter season brings the threat of influenza, or the flu, along with it and so if you want to best protect yourself it’s important you read the following health news articles. The flu virus can strike at any time and when one person close to you gets it your risk goes up substantially.
The flu can leave you bed stricken, feeling horrible and have you running a high fever. Basically, it’s not fun and so you will want to avoid it at all costs that way you can enjoy the winter season and not be miserable stuck in your bed.
Here are Bel Marra Health’s top health news stories in regards to the flu from advancements in treatment to what you can do to prevent it.
A team of scientists has recently discovered that minor variants of flu strains, which are normally ignored by vaccine makers, can be extremely virulent. This theory is far removed from previous studies which considered these minor strains to be relatively harmless.
It’s a known fact that the Influenza A virus is marked by a high level of genetic diversity. This knowledge largely stems from the dominant strain, which most vaccines aim to combat. But there is very little known about the diversity of the minor strains and how they pass between individuals.
So the scientists decided to find out how many viral particles are transmitted when afflicted with the flu and also determine which of the strains replicate when they transmit. Continue reading…
A common pain-reliever drug, acetaminophen (Tylenol), has no benefits when it comes to the flu, according to new findings. Doctors may prescribe acetaminophen to help relieve a patient’s symptoms, but a recent trial found no benefits in regards to improving symptoms or fighting the flu virus.
The study consisted of adults between 18 and 65 years of age who had confirmed influenza. Patients either received a dosage of paracetamol (another name for acetaminophen) or a placebo over the course of five days.
Co-author Dr. Irene Braithwaite said, “We initially theorized that taking paracetamol might be harmful, as the influenza virus cannot replicate as well at higher temperatures, and by reducing a person’s temperature the virus may have thrived. Fortunately this was found not be the case. In this study, paracetamol was not harmful, but we also found that paracetamol was not beneficial either.” Continue reading…
Researchers from the University of Lincoln found that receiving the flu shot may reduce the risk of stroke for up to two months. Researchers found that the risk of experiencing a stroke decreased by a fifth within the first 59 days of receiving the flu shot.
Vaccines administered earlier in the flu season offered greater stroke protection. After the vaccination, researchers found that there was a 36 percent drop in stroke cases within the first week and a 30 percent drop in the second week. In the following weeks the risk went up from 24 percent to 17.
It is believed that cardiovascular disease may be triggered by the flu, so by protecting oneself from the flu you could further gain protection against cardiovascular events. The flu antibody can last for four to six months once administered. Continue reading…
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health developed a flu vaccine in nasal spray form which is more effective among those under the age of two and over the age of 49. Both of these groups currently are not approved for nasal administration of the flu vaccine.
Nasal spray vaccines current protect against such flu strains such as influenza A strains (H1N1 and H3N2) and two influenza B viruses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention some evidence shows that nasal spray flu vaccines are more effective in younger children in comparison to getting an injection. Continue reading…
New findings suggest that if more individuals would receive the flu shot, more influenza pneumonia cases and hospitalization could be prevented. The findings came from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Associate professor Carlos Grijalva, M.D., said, “We estimated that about 57 percent of influenza-related pneumonia hospitalization could be prevented through influenza vaccination. The finding indicates that influenza vaccines not only prevent the symptoms of influenza, including fever, respiratory symptoms, and body aches, but also more serious complications of influenza, such as pneumonia that requires hospitalization. Appreciating these benefits is especially important now, when we have influenza vaccines available and while we’re preparing for the upcoming influenza season. This is an excellent time to get vaccinated.” Continue reading…