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Shingles vaccine may help prevent contracting debilitating case of shingles

Shingles vaccine may help prevent contracting debilitating case of shingles | Virology News | Scoop.it
The 6-year-old shingles vaccine is one of the newest immunizations on the market and also one of the most popular, which has created a persistent manufacturing shortage.

The shortage surfaced almost immediately after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that most Americans over age 60 get vaccinated to prevent shingles.

The vaccine, licensed in 2006, can prevent shingles, a painful skin rash that often appears with blisters. In clinical trials, the vaccine prevented shingles in about half of people 60 years of age and older, according to the CDC. The vaccine can also reduce the pain associated with shingles.

Read more: http://billingsgazette.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/shingles-vaccine-may-help-prevent-contracting-debilitating-case-of-shingles/article_ce3cd94a-ef7f-5701-82b8-2bc0e4c3a009.html#ixzz1pPEweDRW
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Virology News
Topical news snippets about viruses that affect people.  And other things. Like zombies B-)
Curated by Ed Rybicki
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1918 Influenza Pandemic Case Fatality Rate

1918 Influenza Pandemic Case Fatality Rate | Virology News | Scoop.it

Seeing as I have written an ebook on influenza that includes a short history of the 1918 pandemic, I have a rather keen interest in looking up things like case fatality rates, incidences and the like. I have also picked up on a rather worrying discrepancy in oft-quoted figures that just get recirculated without question, in serious and respected publications.


Graphic from Russell Kightley Media

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Predicting Influenza H3N2 Vaccine Efficacy from Evolution of the Dominant Epitope

Predicting Influenza H3N2 Vaccine Efficacy from Evolution of the Dominant Epitope | Virology News | Scoop.it
Abstract.We predict vaccine efficacy with a measure of antigenic distance between influenza A(H3N2) and candidate vaccine viruses based on amino acid substitu...
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A film to transform the lives of families affected by Zika

A film to transform the lives of families affected by Zika | Virology News | Scoop.it
HELP US TRANSFORM THE LIVES OF FAMILIES AFFECTED BY THE ZIKA VIRUS... WHAT? Zika hit the headlines in 2015 as the newest tropical borne viral infection, while adults don't usually suffer severe after effects, the implications for pregnant women and their newborn babies are life-changing.
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First long-term study finds half trillion dollars spent on HIV/AIDS

First long-term study finds half trillion dollars spent on HIV/AIDS | Virology News | Scoop.it
Spending on HIV/AIDS globally between 2000 and 2015 totaled more than half a trillion dollars, according to a new scientific study, the first comprehensive analysis of funding for the disease.
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Medical Xpress: Discovery explains how the chickenpox and shingles virus remains dormant

Medical Xpress: Discovery explains how the chickenpox and shingles virus remains dormant | Virology News | Scoop.it
A research team led by UCL and Erasmus University has found a missing piece to the puzzle of why the virus that causes chickenpox and shingles can remain dormant for decades in human cells.
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Uber South Africa to bring flu vaccinations to your doorstep for R100 

Uber South Africa to bring flu vaccinations to your doorstep for R100  | Virology News | Scoop.it
Uber South Africa in partnership with Discovery Health, Clicks and Dis-chem will be bringing the flu shot to your doorstep.
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Computer-based intervention to increase parents’ knowledge about HPV vaccination

Computer-based intervention to increase parents’ knowledge about HPV vaccination | Virology News | Scoop.it
It's been almost 30 years since Salt-N-Pepa implored Americans to set their puritanical misgivings aside and talk about sex, and yet we still struggle with the subject; that fact is abundantly clear when you consider national HPV vaccination rates.
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Blood and virus detection on barber clippers in South Africa

Background. Bleeding from the popular clean-shave ‘chiskop’ haircut was recently reported as prevalent in South Africa (SA), a country with 6.9 million HIV-infected people.

Objectives. To investigate the prevalence of barber hair clipper contamination with blood and HIV and hepatitis B viruses.

Methods. Fifty barbers from three townships in Cape Town, SA, were invited to participate. One clipper from each barber was collected immediately after it had been used for a clean-shave haircut. Each clipper was rinsed with phosphate-buffered saline and then submerged in viral medium. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to identify the blood-specific RNA marker haemoglobin beta (HBB), hepatitis B virus (HBV) and HIV.

Results. The clean-shave haircut was the most common haircut requested by clients (78%). Of the clippers collected, 42% were positive for HBB, confirming detection of blood, none were positive for HIV, and 4 (8%) were positive for HBV. Two clippers (clippers 16 and 20) were positive on qualitative HBV PCR. HBV DNA from clipper 16 clustered with genotype A sequences from SA, India, Brazil and Martinique, while clipper 20 clustered with SA genotype D sequences. The clipper 20 sequence was identical to a subtype D sequence (GenBank accession AY233291) from Gauteng, SA.

Conclusions. This study confirms that there is significant contamination of barber hair clippers with blood and blood-borne viruses. Hepatitis B was detected with enough DNA copies to pose a risk of transmitting infection. Although HIV was not detected in this small study, the risk of transmission should be quantified. Further studies to investigate barber clipper sterilisation practices and whether the clean-shave hairstyle is an independent risk factor for HIV, HBV and hepatitis C virus infections are warranted. Public education on individual clipper ownership (as is the case with a toothbrush) should be advocated for clean-shave and blade-fade haircuts.
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So all you smooth-dome guys out there...don't!
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Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine introduced in Zimbabwe

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine introduced in Zimbabwe | Virology News | Scoop.it
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine introduced in Zimbabwe © Richard Nyamanhindi/UNICEF 2014 Though the real cause of cancer is not known, it has emerged that the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) accounts for at least 80% of cervical cancers in Zimbabwe, hence the need to vaccinate young girls with the...
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HIV-specific Fc effector function early in infection predicts the development of broadly neutralizing antibodies

HIV-specific Fc effector function early in infection predicts the development of broadly neutralizing antibodies | Virology News | Scoop.it
Author summary Some HIV-infected individuals develop antibodies that are capable of neutralizing the majority of HIV strains, a highly desirable function mediated by the antibody Fab portion. While antibodies elicited by current vaccines have failed to recreate this activity, the partial protection seen in the RV144 vaccine trial has been attributed to antibody Fc-mediated effector functions such as cell killing. In this study, we found that HIV-infected individuals who show a diversified and potent Fc response early in infection were more likely to develop broadly neutralizing antibodies later on. Examination of B cell functions associated with good germinal center activity, provided evidence for a common mechanistic link between the regulation of the Fc and Fab mediated activities in these individuals. Our finding of an Fc effector function profile that arises early and predicts neutralization breadth could be used in the evaluation of vaccine candidates designed to generate neutralizing antibodies. Common immune determinants associated with both Fab and Fc function could furthermore be exploited for vaccine design to harness the full potential of HIV-specific antibodies.
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The 1918 Flu Pandemic: Photos From a Century Ago

The 1918 Flu Pandemic: Photos From a Century Ago | Virology News | Scoop.it
One hundred years ago, an outbreak of influenza spread rapidly across the world, and killed more than 50 million—and possibly as many as 100 million—people within 15 months.
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Tanzania launches early-age cervical cancer vaccine

The government wants to tackle Tanzania's deadliest cancer in women by inoculating girls aged nine to 14.
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Cheers as HIV infections drop massively in Siaya County :: Kenya

Cheers as HIV infections drop massively in Siaya County :: Kenya | Virology News | Scoop.it
Medical experts have praised the dramatic drop in new HIV infections in the region.
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Scientists edge closer to a HIV vaccine that can be given just once a year

Scientists are edging closer to a long-term preventative HIV vaccine, new research suggests.A single injection protected monkeys against a version of the vir...
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Merck’s Ebola shot delivers antibodies that could last 2 years or more

Merck’s Ebola shot delivers antibodies that could last 2 years or more | Virology News | Scoop.it
Previous studies have shown that Merck & Co.’s Ebola vaccine can act fast in human bodies and maintain an antibody response for at least one year. Now, a new study pushes that estimate to two years or more.
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Influenza Season Approaching 

Influenza Season Approaching  | Virology News | Scoop.it
The influenza season in South Africa occurs in the winter months and is expected to start in the coming weeks. On average the season begins in the first week of June. However, in past years; the season has started as early as the last week of April and as late as the first week of July. A severe influenza season was experienced in the United States of America and Europe in the winter of 2017-2018. A severe season elsewhere in the world does not mean that South Africa will necessarily experience a severe season in 2018. The severity of a season is due to a combination of factors including the circulating influenza strains, previous immunity in the population and spectrum of underlying illnesses and age distribution of the population. The NICD monitors the progression and severity of the influenza season through its surveillance sites throughout the country to provide real time information on season progression. Annual influenza epidemics result in an estimated three to five million cases of severe illness, and about 290 000-650 000 deaths globally. In South Africa, influenza (commonly known as flu) kills between 6000-11,000 people every year. About half of these deaths are in the elderly, and about 30% in HIV-infected people. The highest rates of hospitalization are in the elderly (65 years and older), HIV-infected people and children less than 5 years old. Pregnant women are also at increased risk of hospitalization and death from flu infections. People with chronic illnesses like diabetes, lung disease, tuberculosis and heart disease are also at increased risk of being hospitalized from the flu. During the flu season in South Africa about 8-10% of patients hospitalized for pneumonia and 25% of patients with flu-like illness (fever and cough) will test positive for influenza. Vaccination is the most effective strategy to prevent influenza. Getting the flu vaccine can reduce flu illnesses, visits to the clinics or to doctors rooms, missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. Vaccinating people with higher risk of severe flu directly protects them from flu infections. Vaccinating pregnant women has been shown to provide protection to both mother and baby during the flu season. HIV-infected adults without severely weakened immune systems also respond well to the vaccine. Vaccination is also recommended for individuals aged >=65 years and individuals with chronic illnesses like diabetes, lung disease, tuberculosis and heart disease. Influenza vaccine for the 2018 season is currently available at public health facilities and at pharmacies. Since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for protective antibodies to develop, it is recommended that people get vaccinated as soon as possible to ensure that they are protected before influenza season starts. The best time to get the flu vaccine is before the season starts (March-June) but getting it later will protect individuals during the rest of the season. Because influenza viruses are constantly changing and immunity from vaccine lasts for about a year, it is necessary to get vaccinated each year before the influenza season. The influenza vaccine that is licensed for use in South Africa covers three of the common influenza strains (influenza A(H3N2), influenza B and influenza A(H1N1)pdm 09). Based on the information on the influenza strains that were circulating during the 2017 Southern Hemisphere influenza season, the 2018 vaccine for the Southern Hemisphere has been changed (changes in influenza B and influenza A(H3N2) component of the vaccine). This means that the vaccine for the 2018 in South Africa will be different from the one which was used in the Northern Hemisphere for 2017/2018 season and the Southern Hemisphere 2017 influenza season. It is also essential to practice good hygiene by properly and frequently washing hands and protecting coughs and sneezes (coughing or sneezing into a tissue or an elbow) to help prevent the spread of seasonal influenza. People who have flu-like symptoms should stay at home to avoid infecting others. Detailed recommendations on target groups, dosages and contraindications for the 2018 can be accessed at http://www.nicd.ac.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Influenza-guidelines-final_24_05_2017.pdf
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‘Mono’ Virus Linked to Seven Serious Diseases

New study reports that the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)—best known for causing mono virus—also increases the risks for some people of developing seven other major diseases.
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New device nukes STD viruses with microwaves… including HPV –

New device nukes STD viruses with microwaves… including HPV – | Virology News | Scoop.it
In the future, treating human papillomavirus (HPV) may be done with a microwave system. Tests with the device, a compact and portable applicator developed by Emblation Microwave, are underway and have yielded positive results thus far.

According to HPV experts from the University of Glasgow, it w
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Antibiotic cream works on viruses, too

Antibiotic cream works on viruses, too | Virology News | Scoop.it
When scientists applied a common topical antibiotic cream to mice infected with a virus they were surprised to see what happened.
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A stockpile of antiviral defences

A stockpile of antiviral defences | Virology News | Scoop.it
The full list of weapons used by bacteria against viruses is not known. A computational approach has uncovered nine previously unidentified antiviral systems, encoded by genes near known defence genes in bacterial genomes.
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Boulders Beach penguins fall victim to bird flu outbreak

Boulders Beach penguins fall victim to bird flu outbreak | Virology News | Scoop.it
The penguins of Boulders Beach have been placed under threat by the H5N8 strain of avian influenza.
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A novel model for Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus

A novel model for Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus | Virology News | Scoop.it
The article "A cynomolgus macaque model for Crimean–Congo haemorrhagic fever" in Nature Microbiology can be found here: https://rdcu.be/K2BD Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus: a serious, oftentimes deadly pathogen.
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Images in The eyes have it: influenza virus infection beyond the respiratory tract

Images in The eyes have it: influenza virus infection beyond the respiratory tract | Virology News | Scoop.it
Avian and human influenza A viruses alike have shown a capacity to use the eye as
a portal of entry and cause ocular disease in human beings. However, whereas influenza
viruses generally represent a respiratory pathogen and only occasionally cause ocular
complications, the H7 virus subtype stands alone in possessing an ocular tropism.
Clarifying what confers such non-respiratory tropism to a respiratory virus will permit
a greater ability to identify, treat, and prevent zoonotic human infection following
ocular exposure to influenza viruses; especially those within the H7 subtype, which
continue to cause avian epidemics on many continents.
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Influenza Infection in Humans Induces Broadly Cross-Reactive and Protective Neuraminidase-Reactive Antibodies

Influenza Infection in Humans Induces Broadly Cross-Reactive and Protective Neuraminidase-Reactive Antibodies | Virology News | Scoop.it
Current influenza vaccines predominantly produce antibodies targeting the viral hemagglutinin
(HA). However, during natural infection, the body also produces antibodies targeting
the viral neuraminidase (NA). These NA antibodies can provide robust and broad protection
and could potentially be elicited prophylactically or via new vaccine strategies or
used therapeutically.
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ARV stock-outs kill more Ugandans

ARV stock-outs kill more Ugandans | Virology News | Scoop.it

Richard Echoku, 54, is one of many HIV-positive Ugandans on second-line antiretroviral treatment, having failed to respond to first-line drugs.
“They tested my viral load several times, but it was not suppressing yet I was taking the drugs,” Echoku told The Observer. “However, doctors realized I was not taking my medicine on time especially during stock-outs. Sometimes I could miss getting drugs in hospital for some days,” he said.


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