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Flu project reveals “large invisible iceberg” of disease

Peter Griffin posted in on September 21st, 2016.

Preliminary findings from a multi-million dollar, five-year international flu study reveal the extent to which people are infected by influenza viruses. The new data, generated from the Southern Hemisphere Influenza and Vaccine Effectiveness Research and Surveillance (SHIVERS) study shows that about one in five people were infected with influenza, with even higher numbers for young […]

Morning jabs better for flu vaccination – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on April 27th, 2016.

Influenza vaccinations are more effective in the morning, reports a new study. The UK research, published in the journal Vaccine, compared the immune response of 276 older adults vaccinated in the morning  or afternoon, and found that morning-vaccinated people had more influenza-fighting antibodies when tested one month later Read more about the study on The Science […]

Tamiflu review spurs debate over stockpiling

John Kerr posted in on April 11th, 2014.

A new analysis of withheld studies has questioned the usefulness of antiviral drug Tamiflu in the event of an influenza pandemic. The review, undertaken by the independent Cochrane Collaboration, examined data from pharmaceutical company trials involving over 24,000 patients. The authors of the report concluded that, while neuramidase inhibitors — a class of drug which […]

Tamiflu, antiviral drugs’ value questioned – experts respond

John Kerr posted in on April 10th, 2014.

Stockpiling of the antiviral drug Tamiflu may be of little use in the event of a influenza pandemic, according to a new comprehensive review of clinical trial data. The latest updated Cochrane Review, published this week in the BMJ: Neuraminidase inhibitors for preventing and treating influenza in healthy adults and children, challenges the assumption that […]

Influenza A H1N1 in New Zealand – Experts respond

John Kerr posted in on March 26th, 2014.

A number of cases of Influenza A virus subtype H1N1 (commonly dubbed swine flu) have been recently reported in New Zealand. Most recently an outbreak of eight cases in Hawke’s Bay has received widespread coverage. While it is not unusual for the H1N1 strain to be detected in flu cases, experts have noted that it […]

Predicting future flu strains – experts respond

John Kerr posted in on February 27th, 2014.

A new study in the journal Nature describes a model that can successfully predict changes in seasonal human influenza virus from year to year. The model, developed by German and US researchers, considers the evolutionary advantages of mutations in previous influenza strains, and the frequency of these mutations, to predict the future evolution of current […]

Expert briefing on H7N9 avian influenza

Peter Griffin posted in on May 10th, 2013.

UK SMC: As the number of human cases of avian flu continues to rise, China and its surrounding regions remain on high alert, and the rest of the world watches the developing situation with great interest. There is currently no indication of human to human transmission, but the severity of illness caused in many patients, […]

Influenza warnings follow US flu season

John Kerr posted in on March 27th, 2013.

Experts are warning of potentially bad influenza season this year and encouraging vaccination. Influenza researchers Prof Lance Jennnings from Canterbury DHB and  Dr Sue Huang of the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) have highlighted the severe flu season in the States and cautioned that New Zealand could be next. In media reports both […]

Influenza and norovirus concerns – expert responds

John Kerr posted in on January 16th, 2013.

Not one, but two infectious diseases have been raising concerns among New Zealand experts as they prepare for the 2013 winter season. A strain of H3N2 influenza virus is currently causing high levels of hospitalisations in the northern hemisphere, reaching epidemic proportions in the US and linked to over 20 child deaths there so far this […]

‘Flu hospitalisations higher than expected

John Kerr posted in on November 7th, 2012.

The number of flu cases recorded in Auckland city are higher than would be expected, according to the latest data from an in depth study of influenza in New Zealand. The Southern Hemisphere Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Research and Surveillance (SHIVERS) study started last year, and aims to provide closer monitoring of influenza cases in New […]

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