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Viral evolution: Past, present and future of influenza viruses : Nature Reviews Microbiology : Nature Publishing Group

Viral evolution: Past, present and future of influenza viruses : Nature Reviews Microbiology : Nature Publishing Group | Influenza | Scoop.it

Influenza viruses are genetically diverse owing to high mutation rates, frequent reassortment among genomic segments and their tendency to jump between hosts. Three studies describe new modelling approaches to analyse and predict influenza virus evolution and also shed light on the origin and spread of currently circulating viruses.

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Nasal Spray Influenza Vaccine Recommended for Young Children - The Weather Channel

Nasal Spray Influenza Vaccine Recommended for Young Children - The Weather Channel | Influenza | Scoop.it
Dallas Morning News
Nasal Spray Influenza Vaccine Recommended for Young Children
The Weather Channel
Next year's flu season should be less painful for children ages 2 to 8.
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CDC - Top 10 Influenza Pandemic Response Planning Tips for H7N9 Virus | Avian Influenza (Flu)

CDC - Top 10 Influenza Pandemic Response Planning Tips for H7N9 Virus | Avian Influenza (Flu) | Influenza | Scoop.it
H7N9 influenza pandemic response planning tips for senior public health officials - CDC
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Flu Attack! How A Virus Invades Your Body

When you get the flu, viruses turn your cells into tiny factories that help spread the disease. In this animation, NPR's Robert Krulwich and medical animator...
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Novartis begins shipment of seasonal influenza vaccines to US market for the ... - MarketWatch

Novartis begins shipment of seasonal influenza vaccines to US market for the ... - MarketWatch | Influenza | Scoop.it
Novartis begins shipment of seasonal influenza vaccines to US market for the ...
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PLOS Pathogens: Environmental Predictors of Seasonal Influenza Epidemics across Temperate and Tropical Climates

PLOS Pathogens: Environmental Predictors of Seasonal Influenza Epidemics across Temperate and Tropical Climates | Influenza | Scoop.it

Human influenza infections exhibit a strong seasonal cycle in temperate regions. Recent laboratory and epidemiological evidence suggests that low specific humidity conditions facilitate the airborne survival and transmission of the influenza virus in temperate regions, resulting in annual winter epidemics. However, this relationship is unlikely to account for the epidemiology of influenza in tropical and subtropical regions where epidemics often occur during the rainy season or transmit year-round without a well-defined season. We assessed the role of specific humidity and other local climatic variables on influenza virus seasonality by modeling epidemiological and climatic information from 78 study sites sampled globally. We substantiated that there are two types of environmental conditions associated with seasonal influenza epidemics: “cold-dry” and “humid-rainy”. For sites where monthly average specific humidity or temperature decreases below thresholds of approximately 11–12 g/kg and 18–21°C during the year, influenza activity peaks during the cold-dry season (i.e., winter) when specific humidity and temperature are at minimal levels. For sites where specific humidity and temperature do not decrease below these thresholds, seasonal influenza activity is more likely to peak in months when average precipitation totals are maximal and greater than 150 mm per month. These findings provide a simple climate-based model rooted in empirical data that accounts for the diversity of seasonal influenza patterns observed across temperate, subtropical and tropical climates.


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Ed Rybicki's curator insight, March 18, 2013 5:33 AM

This is really quite a big deal: I blogged recently on the first paper that explored this notion in detail; here we see that paper vindicated, and new data presented.

 

It is interesting that the virus should have evolved to be spread in this way: in drier cold air in temperate climates, and in warm wet air in more tropical climes.  It also very nicely explains seasonality in influenza transmission.

 

Now, let's do something ABOUT it!

Carl Shiu's comment, March 19, 2013 11:16 AM
Interesting data. In tropical climes, I wonder if this phenomenon is associated with the overcrowding of shelters during intense rainstorms. A temporary increase in population density during these events would likely facilitate increased rates of person-person transmission.
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Viral evolution: Past, present and future of influenza viruses : Nature Reviews Microbiology : Nature Publishing Group

Viral evolution: Past, present and future of influenza viruses : Nature Reviews Microbiology : Nature Publishing Group | Influenza | Scoop.it

Influenza viruses are genetically diverse owing to high mutation rates, frequent reassortment among genomic segments and their tendency to jump between hosts. Three studies describe new modelling approaches to analyse and predict influenza virus evolution and also shed light on the origin and spread of currently circulating viruses.

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Researchers May Have Created A H1N1 Flu Strain Capable Of Evading The Immune System

Researchers May Have Created A H1N1 Flu Strain Capable Of Evading The Immune System | Influenza | Scoop.it
Back in June, we heard of a controversial study conducted by a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers that generated an influenza virus with similar characteristics to the infamous 1918 pandemic flu virus. The research was criticized by many and branded as crazy, foolish and dangerous by experts.
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Influenza A jumped from horse to camel - Futurity: Research News

Influenza A jumped from horse to camel - Futurity: Research News | Influenza | Scoop.it
Influenza A jumped from horse to camel Futurity: Research News Although there is no immediate risk, the inter-mammalian transmission of the virus is a major concern for public health researchers interested in controlling the threat of pandemic...
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"Controversial scientist recreates H1N1 flu that killed 500K people" - NOT

"Controversial scientist recreates H1N1 flu that killed 500K people" - NOT | Influenza | Scoop.it
Dr Yoshihiro Kawaoka, professor of virology at University of Wisconsin at Madison, has tweaked the 2009 strain of pandemic influenza to make it resistant the human immune system's antibodies.

Via Ed Rybicki
Colleen Nguyen's insight:

Daily Fail.

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Ed Rybicki's curator insight, July 2, 4:55 AM

Trust the Dimwitted Mail to misstate what happened - which is that Yoshihiro Kawaoka selected the H1N1pdm 2009 flu virus in culture till he came up with antibody-binding escape mutants.

What he said:

‘Through selection of immune escape viruses in the laboratory under appropriate containment conditions, we were able to identify the key regions [that] would enable 2009 H1N1 viruses to escape immunity,’

Now recall that the H1N1pdm 2009 virus is NOT a particularly nasty variant; that it has NOT been proved the escape mutants will infect vaccinated people at all - and that all the work was done "a state-of-the-art laboratory at the Institute for Influenza Virus Research in Madison", so the odds that it will get out are VERY low.

But papers have been sold, and the scare is in.

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Doctor warns Ballarat residents to vaccinate as flu season arrives

Doctor warns Ballarat residents to vaccinate as flu season arrives | Influenza | Scoop.it
A BALLARAT doctor warns influenza cases could soar when children return to school in a fortnight as peak flu season kicks in.
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