Only about one in five young adults in their late 30s received a flu shot during the 2009-2010 swine flu epidemic, according to a University of Michigan report that details the behavior and attitudes of Generation X. But about 65 percent were at least moderately concerned about the flu, and nearly 60 percent said they were following the issue very or moderately closely. Using survey data collected from approximately 3, 000 young adults during the 2009-2010 H1N1 influenza epidemic - the first serious infectious disease this group had ever experienced -The Generation X Report explores how Americans ages 36-39 kept abreast of the issue and what actions they eventually took to protect themselves and their families. "These results suggest that young adults in Generation X did reasonably well in their first encounter with a major epidemic, " said Jon D.
Incomplete availability of data has hampered a thorough assessment of the evidence for using the anti-influenza drug oseltamivir, a Cochrane Review has found. However, after piecing together information from over 16, 000 pages of clinical trial data and documents used in the process of licensing oseltamivir ( Tamiflu ) by national authorities, a team of researchers has raised critical questions about how well the drug works and about its reported safety profile. The new analysis shows inconsistencies with published reports, and describes possible under-reporting of drug-related side-effects in some published trial reports. While the drug did reduce the time to first alleviation of symptoms by an average of 21 hours, it did not reduce the number of people who went on to need hospital treatment.
Worldwide pandemics of influenza caused widespread death and illness in 1918, 1957, 1968 and 2009. A new study examining weather patterns around the time of these pandemics finds that each of them was preceded by La Nina conditions in the equatorial Pacific. The study's authors - Jeffrey Shaman of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and Marc Lipsitch of the Harvard School of Public Health - note that the La Nina pattern is known to alter the migratory patterns of birds, which are thought to be a primary reservoir of human influenza. The scientists theorize that altered migration patterns promote the development of dangerous new strains of influenza. The study findings are currently published online in PNAS. To examine the relationship between weather patterns and influenza pandemics, the researchers studied records of ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific in the fall and winter before the four most recent flu pandemics emerged.
Monitoring Internet search traffic about influenza may prove to be a better way for hospital emergency rooms to prepare for a surge in sick patients compared to waiting for outdated government flu case reports. A report on the value of the Internet search tool for emergency departments, studied by a team of researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine over a 21-month period, is published in the January 9 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases. The researchers reported a strong correlation between a rise in Internet searches for flu information, compiled by Google's Flu Trends tool, and a subsequent rise in people coming into a busy urban hospital emergency room complaining of flu-like symptoms. For the study, the researchers tracked and reviewed Google Flu Trends data for Baltimore City, along with data on people seeking care, into the separate adult and pediatric emergency departments at The Johns Hopkins Hospital from January 2009, to October 2010.
Battling colds and doing (or pledging to do) more exercise are familiar activities for most of us in January. But different levels of exercise can actually significantly increase or decrease your chances of catching a respiratory infection, says Professor Mike Gleeson from Loughborough University. While regular moderate exercise can reduce the risk of catching cold-like infections, prolonged strenuous exercise, such as marathons, can make an individual more susceptible. This is a topical area of research in the year of the Olympics, says Professor Gleeson talking at the Association for Science Education (ASE) Conference on Friday, on behalf of the Society for General Microbiology and the British Society for Immunology. Upper- respiratory tract infections (URTIs) are acute infections that affect the nose, throat and sinuses, and include the common cold, tonsillitis, sinusitis and flu.