Bill Gates Throws $12M at Universal Flu Vaccine Project

Bill Gates Throws $12M at Universal Flu Vaccine Project


Billionaire Bill Gates has a new humanitarian project he hopes will change the world: developing a universal flu vaccine.

The philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder announced Friday his foundation will put up $12 million to initially fund the project.

“We think a universal flu vaccine would not only eliminate the pandemic risk, but would have significant health benefits,” Gates told STAT. “It would be a fantastic thing.”

Gates admitted that the project will ultimately cost more than his initial investment. > >> read more ...

Painkiller Abuse Spikes During Cold, Flu Season

Painkiller Abuse Spikes During Cold, Flu Season


A growing number of people are taking high doses of the painkiller acetaminophen, and many take so much during cold and flu season that they run the risk of liver and kidney damage, two studies suggest.

Throughout the year, 6.3 percent of acetaminophen users take more than the maximum recommended daily dose at least one day during weeks when they use the drug, one study of 14,481 U.S. adults found.

During cold and flu season, however, people were 24 percent more likely to exceed the maximum recommended dose of 4,000 milligrams at least once a week. > >> read more ...

Flu Season Coming to an End: CDC Report

Flu Season Coming to an End: CDC Report


It’s been a particularly tough flu season, but spring — and real relief — may be near, new numbers show.

The flu season continues to wind down, with yet another drop seen in doctor visits and less severe strains of influenza becoming ever more dominant.

But hospitalizations for the flu are still a problem, and there have been additional pediatric deaths, the latest data shows.

For the sixth week in a row, there was a decrease in the number of doctor visits for flu-like illness, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday. > >> read more ...

Heart Attack, Stroke Risk Higher After Flu, Pneumonia: Study

Heart Attack, Stroke Risk Higher After Flu, Pneumonia: Study


New UK research has found that those who have had flu or pneumonia can be six times more likely to suffer from a heart attack or stroke in the days and weeks following infection. 

Carried out by researchers from University College London (UCL), the School of Mathematics and Statistics, Open University, Milton Keynes, and Health Protection Scotland, the study is largest to date to look at the effect of specific respiratory infections on the risk of heart attack and stroke, with the findings following a particularly virulent flu season.  > >> read more ...

Germany Confirms Bird Flu Case

Germany Confirms Bird Flu Case


German authorities have confirmed outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N6 bird flu type at a farm on an island off the German North Sea coast, the Schleswig-Holstein state agriculture ministry said on Wednesday.

The virus was found on a farm of with 57 chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese on the island of Hallig Suederoog. All the birds on the farm have been culled.

It is said to be the first case on a farm in Germany, the ministry said.

A case of H5N6 bird flu was also reported by a farm in the Netherlands in February and in southern England in January. > >> read more ...

Window Seats Help Flyers Avoid Flu: Study

Window Seats Help Flyers Avoid Flu: Study


Worried about catching a cold or the flu on an airplane? Get a window seat, and don’t leave it until the flight is over.

That’s what some experts have been saying for years, and it’s perhaps the best advice coming out of a new attempt to determine the risks of catching germs on an airplane.

It turns out there’s been little research on the risks of catching a cold or flu during air travel. Some experts believed that sitting in a window seat would keep a passenger away from infectious people who may be on the aisle or moving around. > >> read more ...

Colds and Flu Can Mean Overdosing on Tylenol: Study

Colds and Flu Can Mean Overdosing on Tylenol: Study


A brutal flu season has had people reaching for relief in their medicine cabinet, but a new study warns that overdosing on acetaminophen (Tylenol) is more common when bugs and viruses are circulating.

It turns out that the odds of taking more than the recommended 4 grams a day jumps 24 percent during these months, said lead researcher Saul Shiffman. He is senior scientific advisor at the research firm Pinney Associates in Pittsburgh.

Why the jump? People battling the flu often take more than one medication for their symptoms — one remedy for headache, another for sniffles, another for backache — not realizing that all of them may contain acetaminophen, Shiffman explained. > >> read more ...

Flu Virus: 'Shapeshifter' is Always One Step Ahead

Flu Virus: 'Shapeshifter' is Always One Step Ahead


On a March morning 100 years ago, a soldier in Kansas reported to the infirmary with a fever, muscle aches, and a sore throat.By lunchtime, records state, dozens had joined him, stricken with what would become known as the Spanish Flu. Within months, the virus infected a…

CDC: This Year Has Been the Worst Flu Season

CDC: This Year Has Been the Worst Flu Season


The intensity of this year’s flu season has made it the worst since the swine flu pandemic of 2009-2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“This has been a really difficult season and it’s not over yet,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Anne Schuchat told NBC News. “I think the end of this season will end up being a bigger toll of disease than during that 2009 pandemic.”

The CDC says the influenza is still at elevated levels in every state except Montana, Maine and Florida and some 114 children have died from it this season. > >> read more ...

Worst of Bad Flu Season Finally Over: CDC

Worst of Bad Flu Season Finally Over: CDC


The worst of the nation’s nasty flu season is finally over.

The season apparently peaked in early February and has been fading since, health officials said Friday. The number of people going to the doctor with symptoms of the flu has continued to decline. Deaths from the flu or pneumonia are going down, too.

While the peak may have passed, the season isn’t finished yet. Reports of flu remained widespread in 45 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. > >> read more ...