Tagged Articles

influenza 27 articles

Increase in flu cases prompts CDC health advisory

Significant increases in flu cases – predominantly the A(H3N2) strain – has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a health advisory. The CDC is recommending to health care providers, in addition to administering the flu shot for prevention, to increase use of neuraminidase inhibitor (NAI) antivirals for treatment. This treatment blocks the function of viral neuraminidases of the influenza virus, preventing its reproduction. The CDC is urging that treatment be initiated promptly and “should not be delayed even for a few hours to wait for the results of testing.” Treatment is most effective when it ... Read More

Study questions safety, effectiveness of anti-viral drug Tamiflu

Tamiflu, the medication given to treat and prevent the influenza virus, has little effect on complications of the flu, such as pneumonia, and is now known to cause psychiatric symptoms, kidney problems, diarrhea and vomiting, according to a new report published this week by the global not-for-profit organization Cochrane Collaboration. What is even more concerning is that countries including the United States and Europe purchased massive quantities of the drug to stockpile in the event of an epidemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends on its website that Tamiflu be used as a first-line defense against the ... Read More

Increase in flu cases has hospitals, dialysis clinics experiencing a shortage of IV saline

An increase in flu cases has contributed to a shortage of intravenous saline used to treat dehydration and other conditions. Hospitals and dialysis centers are left to scramble to manage their supplies, and are being advised to use smaller IV bags and find alternatives, if possible. Each week since mid-January, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received word from dozens of hospitals that supplies of IV saline are low. While the agency says it has not had any reports of any facilities being out of the solution, some have reported they have just a few days’ supply. A spike ... Read More

Elevated testosterone levels can weaken one’s immune response to flu shot

Higher levels of the male hormone testosterone can weaken the immune response to some types of flu vaccine and should be a word of caution for those who use testosterone replacement therapy, researchers say. Researchers with the Stanford University School of Medicine’s Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection analyzed samples from 53 women and 34 men and found that women had significantly stronger antibody response to the trivalent inactivated seasonal flu vaccine (TIV). They also found that men with higher levels of testosterone had the lowest antibody responses to TIV. “This is the first study to show an explicit correlation ... Read More

Fresenius urges dialysis patients to get flu shots despite mounting GranuFlo lawsuits

Fresenius Medical Care, the world’s largest provider of dialysis products and services, is strongly encouraging dialysis patients to get a flu shot. The company is even offering free flu vaccinations to all of its dialysis patients and employees, a generous offer considering the company’s poor track record with communicating important health issues to patients and staff. The company is currently facing numerous wrongful death, personal injury and false advertising lawsuits stemming from its dialysis concentrates GranuFlo and NaturaLyte. The products are used to help balance electrolytes in the blood during dialysis. One of the ingredients in the solutions converts to ... Read More

Many varieties of flu vaccinations available to consumers

There are more varieties of flu vaccinations this year than ever before, offering consumers a more tailored approach to staying healthy this flu season. Previously, people had a choice between getting a flu shot or an inhaled version of the drug, which protected them against three strains of the flu virus. This year, drug makers also offer other options. For example, for the first time ever, a quadrivlavent vaccine is available, which protects against four strains of flu virus. This four-in-one type of shot may be more desirable for children as they are more apt to catch the newly added ... Read More

Mystery illness hospitalizes 7, kills 2 in southeast Alabama

Two people have died and at least seven have been hospitalized by a mystery illness in Alabama. All seven cases were reported at one hospital in Dothan and come from a 10-county area in the southeast corner of the state. The cases were reported between April 19 and May 20. State health officials have yet to pinpoint the source of the illness, however two of the patients tested positive for the flu virus – one for H1N1, also known as the swine flu, and the other for influenza A. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Five of the ... Read More

Pregnant women should be especially careful with over-the-counter, prescription medications

Pregnant women should be extra careful when taking medicines because they may be unsafe for the mother or the child, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautions. The agency issued a reminder to consumers that the risks and benefits of medicines should be carefully weighed in general, but especially in women who are expecting. Pregnancy causes changes in the body, including how medicines are processed. In some cases, dosage may need to be adjusted. Even everyday medicines, including over-the-counter pain relievers, can be unhealthy for both mother and baby. Some medications, including antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), have been linked ... Read More

Study: Pregnant women who get the flu at greater risk of having a child with bipolar disorder

A new warning for expectant women – a new study has found that pregnant women who get the flu have a four-time greater risk of having a child with bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric diagnosis in which people experience episodes of mania typically balanced with episodes of depression. The disorder is most commonly diagnosed in the teens and 20s. The study, conducted by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, involved more than 900 U.S. children, 92 of whom had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. After culling through the data, researchers discovered that mothers who ... Read More

CDC urges US hospitals to be on the lookout for patients with bird flu

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is hoping to stop the H7N9 avian flu from spreading throughout the United States by asking hospitals to be on the lookout for people with flu-like symptoms who have traveled to China or have had contact with someone who has the illness. The center also issued interim guidance on the use of antiviral drugs to treat patients with the bird flu. The avian flu has infected at least 92 people in China, resulting in 17 deaths. The source of the infections has not yet been identified and there are no known instances ... Read More