Get the flu vaccine, reduce your risk of death

Last year was a lousy year for the flu vaccine. Hospitalizations for flu hit a nine-year high, and the vaccine prevented flu in only 23% of all recipients, compared with 50% to 60% of recipients in prior years. Why does the flu vaccine work well in some winters and not others? The flu vaccine primes the immune system to attack two proteins on the surface of the influenza A virus, hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N). Different flu strains have different combinations of these proteins — for example, the strains targeted by recent flu vaccines are H3N2 and H1N1. Unfortunately, the influenza virus is microbiology’s answer to Miley Cyrus: it can change enough in just one year to become completely unrecognizable. The H and N proteins are genetic chameleons that undergo constant transformation. This process is called antigenic drift, and it regularly flummoxes vaccine makers, public health experts, and your immune system. Developing the new flu vaccines Most flu vaccine in the United States is made from chicken eggs, using production methods that date back to 1945. This cumbersome technique requires 6-8 months of lead time to produce enough vaccine for the upcoming flu season. Every February, the World Health Organization and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) make their best guess as to which flu strains should be covered by next winter’s vaccine, based on a review of circulating flu viruses from over 100 countries. But a lot can change in 8 months, especi...
Source: New Harvard Health Information - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Cold and Flu Vaccines Flu Shot flu vaccine Source Type: news

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We describe our experience with the SCAIF during the pandemic in five patients with a variety of tumour types and locations. All five patients had a successful outcome with none requiring further reconstruction and all had a functional swallow postoperatively, including a patient who underwent a total pharyngeal reconstruction with a SCAIF.DiscussionThe use of a SCAIF during the current COVID-19 pandemic has significant advantages and is a reliable alternative to a soft tissue free flap.
Source: Journal of Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery - Category: ENT & OMF Source Type: research
Source: Diabetologia - Category: Endocrinology Source Type: research
Abstract While accumulating evidence shows that air pollution exposure is an important risk factor to influenza prevalence, their association has been inadequately investigated in mountainous regions with dense populations and high humidity. We aim to estimate the association and exposure-outcome effects between exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and influenza prevalence in a mountainous region with a dense population and high humidity. We investigated 14,993 patients with confirmed influenza cases from January 2013 to December 2017 in Chongqing, a mountainous city in southwest China. We developed distributed lag ...
Source: Environmental Research - Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tags: Environ Res Source Type: research
CONCLUSIONS: Based on aggregated data, we found that living in close proximity to areas with high grass cover (grasslands, but also residential gardens) may negatively impact child respiratory health. Potential allergic and non-allergic mechanisms that underlie this association include elevated exposure to grass pollen and fungi and reduced exposure to environmental biodiversity. Reducing the dominance of grass in public and private green space might be beneficial to reduce the childhood asthma burden and may simultaneously improve the ecological value of urban green space. PMID: 32980008 [PubMed - in process]
Source: Environmental Research - Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tags: Environ Res Source Type: research
Pesch B Abstract Welders have an increased susceptibility to airway infections with non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi), which implicates immune defects and might promote pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We hypothesized that welding-fume exposure suppresses Th1-lymphocyte activity. Non-effector CD4+ T-cells from blood of 45 welders (n = 23 gas metal arc welders, GMAW; n = 16 tungsten inert gas welders, TIG; n = 6 others) and 25 non-welders were ex vivo activated towards Th1 via polyclonal T-cell receptor stimulation and IL-12 (first activation step) a...
Source: Environmental Research - Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tags: Environ Res Source Type: research
DISCUSSION: Associations between PM10 and PTB in Mexico City varied over time and across levels of PM10. Our findings of negative associations in the second and third trimesters, which are contrary to the hypothesized relationship between PM10 and PTB, may be due to a number of factors, including live birth bias and the exposure period evaluated. Differences in results for the periods evaluated suggest that PM10 from shorter exposure windows may play a more proximal role in initiating preterm labor. PMID: 32979989 [PubMed - in process]
Source: Environmental Research - Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tags: Environ Res Source Type: research
DISCUSSION: Both chronic and acute ambient temperature were associated with odds of stillbirth in this low-risk population, similar to our prior nationwide findings. Future increases in temperature extremes are likely and the observed risk in a low-risk population suggests this association merits attention. PMID: 32980027 [PubMed - in process]
Source: Environmental Research - Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tags: Environ Res Source Type: research
o I López F, Claudio L Abstract The impact of COVID-19 outbreak has been unequal across Spanish regions. The epidemic wave has been smoother in the Region of Murcia (RM) (6 deaths/100,000 residents). Physical distance from health centers from day 0 is an additional social distancing measure that confers an advantageous starting position in the fight against COVID-19. Late healthcare distancing measures are not as powerful as the early ones. PMID: 32980026 [PubMed - in process]
Source: Environmental Research - Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tags: Environ Res Source Type: research
Abstract Sustainable development calls for a blue sky with quality air. Encouragingly, the current mass reduction-oriented pollution control is making substantial achievements, as the data from Chinese Environmental Monitoring Stations show a significant drop in the annual average concentrations of particulate matters (i.e., PM10 and PM2.5) and SO2. But many challenges and knowledge gaps are still confronted nowadays. On one hand, long-term health impacts of fine air particles have to be closely probed through both epidemiological and laboratory studies, and the toxic effects owing to the interactions between part...
Source: Environmental Research - Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tags: Environ Res Source Type: research
Abstract COVID-19 is an active pandemic that likely poses an existential threat to humanity. Frequent handwashing, social distancing, and partial or total lockdowns are among the suite of measures prescribed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and being implemented across the world to contain the pandemic. However, existing inequalities in access to certain basic necessities of life (water, sanitation facility, and food storage) create layered vulnerabilities to COVID-19 and can render the preventive measures ineffective or simply counterproductive. We hypothesized that individuals in households without any of ...
Source: Environmental Research - Category: Environmental Health Authors: Tags: Environ Res Source Type: research
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