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Flu

For heart failure patients in hospital, flu boosts risk of complications, death

When people with heart failure are hospitalized, having influenza is tied to greater odds of respiratory and kidney complications and a higher chance they won’t survive to be discharged, a U.S. study suggests. Using a national database, the researchers looked at more than 8 million heart failure-associated hospitalizations and identified 54,585 patients who had flu at the time. They compared this group to a similar group of heart failure patients hospitalized without flu. The rate of acute kidney injury was 30.3…

US flu outbreak worsens; hospitalizations highest in nearly a decade: CDC

NEW YORK: The US flu outbreak worsened over the past week as more people headed to doctors’ offices and emergency rooms, with hospitalizations at the highest in nearly 10 years, US health officials said. Sixteen children died of the flu in the week ended Jan. 27, bringing total pediatric deaths to 53 for the season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly report. Out of every 100,000 people in the general population, an estimated 51.4 have been hospitalized for the flu, surpassing the rate…

Flu increases the risk of heart attack: study

MIAMI: People who get the flu may face a six-fold higher risk of heart attack in the week following infection, said a study Wednesday that bolsters the need for widespread vaccinations against the flu. The risk of heart attack -- or myocardial infarction -- is particularly acute in older adults, said the report in the New England of Medicine. "Our findings are important because an association between influenza and acute myocardial infarction reinforces the importance of vaccination," said lead author Jeff Kwong, a…

US lifts funding ban on studies that enhance dangerous germs

CHICAGO: The U.S. government on Tuesday lifted a 2014 temporary ban on funding research involving the flu and other pathogens in which scientists deliberately make them more transmissible or more deadly. The ban covered federal funding for any new so-called “gain-of-function” experiments that enhance pathogens such as Avian influenza, SARS and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS viruses. It followed a series of safety breaches at federal laboratories involving the handling of anthrax and avian flu that raised…

Oxford team to test universal flu vaccine in world first

LONDON:  A seasonal flu vaccine that would be the first in the world to fight all types of the virus is to be tested in a two-year clinical trial involving more than 2,000 patients by researchers in Oxford. The so-called universal vaccine was developed by Oxford University’s Jenner Institute and Vaccitech, a spin-out biotech company founded by Jenner scientists. Current flu vaccines have to be changed each year to match strains of virus circulating at the time and they do not always protect people that well, especially…

Vitamin D can protect against colds, flu: study claims

PARIS: Taking extra vitamin D can protect against colds, flu and other respiratory infections, said a study Thursday which reopened a debate on the usefulness of over-the-counter supplements. A review of 25 clinical trials in 14 countries, some with conflicting results, yielded "the first definitive evidence" of a link between vitamin D and flu prevention, researchers claimed in The BMJ medical journal. The effects were strongest for people with very low levels of the nutrient which is found in some foods and can be…