Welcome to Influenza Virus Net
Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is an infectious disease caused by RNA viruses of the family Orthomyxoviridae (the influenza viruses), that affects humans, birds and other mammals. The virus spreads easily from person to person. Influenza circulates worldwide and can affect anybody in any age group. Influenza causes annual epidemics that peak during winter in temperate regions. Influenza is a serious public health problem that causes severe illnesses and deaths for higher risk populations. The most common symptoms of the disease are chills, fever, sore throat, muscle pains, severe headache, coughing, weakness/fatigue and general discomfort. Sore throat, fever and coughs are the most frequent symptoms. In more serious cases, influenza causes pneumonia, which can be fatal, particularly for the young and the elderly. An influenza epidemic can take an economic toll through lost workforce productivity, and strain health services. Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent infection.
Influenza News and Headlines
- Flu vaccine also linked to narcolepsy in adults: study - CANOE
Sun, 26 May 2013 04:09:
- Alabama 'mystery respiratory illness cluster': H7N9 avian flu and novel ... - The Global Dispatch
Sun, 26 May 2013 03:46:
- Alabama Mystery Illness: It Wasn't the Bird Flu, So What Was It? - PolicyMic
Sat, 25 May 2013 20:46:
- Deadly Alabama Mystery Illness Solved - Experts Feared SARS, H7N9 Bird Flu ... - Latinos Post
Sat, 25 May 2013 17:31:
- Bird Flu contagious among ferrets, maybe humans too - iTech Post
Sat, 25 May 2013 14:05:
- Animals Vulnerable to H7N9 Avian Influenza Virus, Study Finds - Headlines & Global News
Sat, 25 May 2013 11:27:
- H7N9 Capable of Combining with Swine Flu to form Novel Virus - TopNews United States
Sat, 25 May 2013 10:56:
- 'Mystery illness' in Alabama a mix of flu, cold and pneumonia - Big News Network.com
Sat, 25 May 2013 10:13:
- Mystery Illness Solved: Alabama Outbreak Is Mix Of Common Cold And Flu - The Inquisitr
Sat, 25 May 2013 04:32:
- Bird-flu virus capable of human spread, ferret study shows - Business Mirror
Sat, 25 May 2013 08:52:
Latest Articles on Influenza
- Novel Influenza A (H1N1)-Associated Acute Necrotizing Encephalopathy: A Case Report.
Kim KJ, Park ES, Chang HJ, et al. Novel Influenza A (H1N1)-Associated Acute Necrotizing Encephalopathy: A Case Report. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]Ann Rehabil Med 2013 Apr; 37(2):286-290.Several cases of acute necrotizing encephalopathy (ANE) with influenza A (H1N1) have been reported to date. The prognosis of ANE associated with H1N1 is variable; some cases resulted in severe neurologic complication, whereas other cases were fatal. Reports mostly focused on the diagnosis of ANE with H1N1 infection, rather than functional recovery. We report a case of ANE with H1N1 infection in a 4-year-old Korean girl who rapidly developed fever, seizure, and altered mentality, as well as had neurologic sequelae of ataxia, intentional tremor, strabismus, and dysarthria. Brain magnetic resonance imaging showed lesions in the bilateral thalami, pons, and left basal ganglia. To our knowledge, this is the first report of ANE caused by H1N1 infection and its long-term functional recovery in Korea.
- Socially-Assigned Race, Healthcare Discrimination and Preventive Healthcare Services.
Macintosh T, Desai MM, Lewis TT, et al. Socially-Assigned Race, Healthcare Discrimination and Preventive Healthcare Services. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]PLoS One 2013; 8(5):e64522.Race and ethnicity, typically defined as how individuals self-identify, are complex social constructs. Self-identified racial/ethnic minorities are less likely to receive preventive care and more likely to report healthcare discrimination than self-identified non-Hispanic whites. However, beyond self-identification, these outcomes may vary depending on whether racial/ethnic minorities are perceived by others as being minority or white; this perception is referred to as socially-assigned race.To examine the associations between socially-assigned race and healthcare discrimination and receipt of selected preventive services.Cross-sectional analysis of the 2004 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System "Reactions to Race" module. Respondents from seven states and the District of Columbia were categorized into 3 groups, defined by a composite of self-identified race/socially-assigned race: Minority/Minority (M/M, n = 6,837), Minority/White (M/W, n = 929), and White/White (W/W, n = 25,913). Respondents were 18 years or older, with 61.7% under age 60; 51.8% of respondents were female. Measures included reported healthcare discrimination and receipt of vaccinations and cancer screenings.Racial/ethnic minorities who reported being socially-assigned as minority (M/M) were more likely to report healthcare discrimination compared with those who reported being socially-assigned as white (M/W) (8.9% vs. 5.0%, p = 0.002). Those reporting being socially-assigned as white (M/W and W/W) had similar rates for past-year influenza (73.1% vs. 74.3%) and pneumococcal (69.3% vs. 58.6%) vaccinations; however, rates were significantly lower among M/M respondents (56.2% and 47.6%, respectively, p-values<0.05). There were no significant differences between the M/M and M/W groups in the receipt of cancer screenings.Racial/ethnic minorities who reported being socially-assigned as white are more likely to receive preventive vaccinations and less likely to report healthcare discrimination compared with those who are socially-assigned as minority. Socially-assigned race/ethnicity is emerging as an important area for further research in understanding how race/ethnicity influences health outcomes.
- Sequence-Specific and Visual Identification of the Influenza Virus NS Gene by Azobenzene-Tethered Bis-Peptide Nucleic Acid.
Kaihatsu K, Sawada S, Nakamura S, et al. Sequence-Specific and Visual Identification of the Influenza Virus NS Gene by Azobenzene-Tethered Bis-Peptide Nucleic Acid. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]PLoS One 2013; 8(5):e64017.To rapidly and specifically identify highly virulent influenza virus strains, we prepared an azobenzene-tethered hairpin-type peptide nucleic acid, bisPNA-AZO, which has a complementary sequence against a highly conserved genomic RNA sequence within the ribonucleoprotein complex of the 2009 pandemic influenza A virus, H1N1 subtype. bisPNA-AZO recognizes the conserved virus genome sequence in a sequence-specific manner. Immobilization of bisPNA-AZO on a plate allowed capture of the target virus gene and the generation of a visual colour signal.
- The Influenza Virus Protein PB1-F2 Interacts with IKKβ and Modulates NF-κB Signalling.
Reis AL, McCauley JW The Influenza Virus Protein PB1-F2 Interacts with IKKβ and Modulates NF-κB Signalling. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]PLoS One 2013; 8(5):e63852.PB1-F2, a protein encoded by a second open reading frame of the influenza virus RNA segment 2, has emerged as a modulator of lung inflammatory responses but the molecular mechanisms underlying this are only poorly understood. Here we show that PB1-F2 inhibits the activation of NF-κB dependent signalling pathways in luciferase reporter assays. PB1-F2 proteins from four different viruses interact with IKKβ in yeast two-hybrid assays and by co-immunoprecipitation. PB1-F2 expression did not inhibit IKKβ kinase activity or NF-κB translocation into the nucleus, but NF-κB binding to DNA was severely impaired in PB1-F2 transfected cells as assessed by Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay. Neither the N-terminal 57 amino acid truncated forms nor the C-terminus of PB1-F2 were able to inhibit NF-κB dependent signalling, indicating that the full length protein is necessary for the inhibition.
- Trends in Influenza Vaccine Coverage in Pregnant Women, 2008 to 2012.
Henninger M, Crane B, Naleway A Trends in Influenza Vaccine Coverage in Pregnant Women, 2008 to 2012. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]Perm J 2013; 17(2):31-36.Pregnant women are at increased risk of severe influenza-related complications and hospitalizations and are a priority group for influenza vaccination.To examine coverage of seasonal and pandemic influenza A (H1N1) vaccines in pregnant women in a managed care setting, from 2008 to 2012.Retrospective cohort study of 10,145 pregnant women.H1N1 and seasonal influenza vaccination rates.Seasonal influenza vaccine coverage increased from 38% to 63% between the 2008-2009 and 2010-2011 seasons, and then dropped to 61% in 2011-2012. Vaccine coverage was higher in women considered at high risk of influenza complications, increasing from 43% in 2008-2009 to 71% in 2010-2011, before decreasing to 69% in 2011-2012. H1N1 vaccine coverage was greater than seasonal influenza coverage in 2009-2010 in the overall pregnant population (61% vs 53%) and in the high-risk group (64% vs 59%). We observed statistically significant differences in vaccination rates by trimester, gravidity, maternal age, and race/ethnicity.Vaccination rates increased significantly from 2008 to 2011, then dropped slightly in 2011-2012. Continued efforts are needed to ensure adequate vaccination coverage in this high-risk population.
- Infectivity, Transmission, and Pathology of Human H7N9 Influenza in Ferrets and Pigs.
Zhu H, Wang D, Kelvin DJ, et al. Infectivity, Transmission, and Pathology of Human H7N9 Influenza in Ferrets and Pigs. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]Science 2013 May 23.The emergence of the H7N9 influenza virus in humans in Eastern China has raised concerns that a new influenza pandemic could occur. Here, we used a ferret model to evaluate the infectivity and transmissibility of A/Shanghai/2/2013 (SH2), a human H7N9 virus isolate. This virus replicated in the upper and lower respiratory tracts of the ferrets and was shed at high titers for 6 to 7 days, with ferrets showing relatively mild clinical signs. SH2 was efficiently transmitted via direct contact, but less efficiently by airborne exposure. Pigs could be productively infected by SH2 and shed virus for 6 days but were unable to transmit the virus to other animals. Under appropriate conditions human-to-human transmission of the H7N9 virus may be possible.
- Complete Genome Sequence of a Natural Recombinant H9N2 Influenza Virus Isolated from a White-Fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) in South Korea.
Lee DH, Park JK, Yuk SS, et al. Complete Genome Sequence of a Natural Recombinant H9N2 Influenza Virus Isolated from a White-Fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) in South Korea. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]Genome Announc 2013; 1(3)In 2007, we isolated a natural recombinant H9N2 avian influenza virus (AIV) from the fecal droppings of a white-fronted goose (Anser albifrons) in South Korea. Phylogenetic analyses of the complete genome sequence showed that polymerase acidic (PA) and neuraminidase (NA) genes belonged to the Eurasian lineage AIV, but polymerase basic 2 (PB2), PB1, hemagglutinin (HA), nucleoprotein (NP), matrix (M), and nonstructural (NS) genes belonged to the North-American lineage AIV. These data are beneficial for understanding the ecology and epidemiology of AIVs.
- [Vaccination coverage in German adults : Results of the German health interview and examination survey for adults (DEGS1).]
Poethko-Müller C, Schmitz R [Vaccination coverage in German adults : Results of the German health interview and examination survey for adults (DEGS1).] [JOURNAL ARTICLE]Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz 2013 May; 56(5-6):845-857.In the absence of an immunisation register, vaccination coverage in Germany must be estimated. Ten years after the German National Health Interview and Examination Survey 1998 (GNHIES98), the population survey DEGS1 is one of the data sources to be used for monitoring vaccination coverage. In the survey, data on vaccination history were obtained from vaccination cards and self-reports. The prevalence of immunisation for tetanus and diphtheria was higher compared to the prevalence estimated ten years previously in GNHIES98. Nonetheless, 28.6 % of adults have not been vaccinated against tetanus and 42.9 % have not been vaccinated against diphtheria within the last ten years. Vaccination is especially low among the elderly, among adults with low socio-economic status and in western Germany. During the last ten years, only 11.8 % of women and 9.4 % of men were vaccinated against pertussis in western Germany; vaccination coverage was twice as high in eastern Germany. In 2009, recommendations were published to combine the next tetanus immunisation with a pertussis immunisation; therefore pertussis vaccination coverage might improve in the coming years. The lifetime prevalence of influenza vaccination obtained in DEGS1 is higher than the annual vaccination rate for influenza. However, the lifetime prevalence among adults aged 60 years or older is still below the annual rate of 75 % recommended by the WHO. An English full-text version of this article is available at SpringerLink as supplemental.
- Efficacy of Trivalent Seasonal Influenza Vaccination in Reducing Mortality and Hospitalization in Chinese Nursing Home Older Adults.
Chan TC, Fan-Ngai Hung I, Ka-Hay Luk J, et al. Efficacy of Trivalent Seasonal Influenza Vaccination in Reducing Mortality and Hospitalization in Chinese Nursing Home Older Adults. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]J Am Med Dir Assoc 2013 May 21.OBJECTIVE: To examine the clinical efficacy of the trivalent seasonal influenza vaccination among Chinese older adults residing in a nursing home. DESIGN: A 12-month prospective cohort study. Participants were divided into 2 groups based on their own choice on vaccination of trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine: vaccinated group and unvaccinated group. SETTING: Fifty-eight nursing homes in Hong Kong. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 1859 older adults residing in a nursing home. MEASUREMENTS: All-cause mortality, pneumonia-related mortality, all-cause hospitalization, and pneumonia-related hospitalization. RESULTS: A total of 1859 older adults residing in a nursing home were included: 1214 (65.3%) in the vaccinated group and 645 (34.7%) in the unvaccinated group. At 12 months of study, for all-cause mortality, 14.6% (177 of 1214) of the vaccinated group and 20.2% (130 of 645) of the unvaccinated group had died (P < .001). Multivariate analysis showed the hazard ratio for the vaccinated group was 0.72 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.54-0.95; P < .01). For pneumonia-related mortality, 9.4% (114 of 1214) of the vaccinated group and 12.7% (82 of 645) of the unvaccinated group died (P = .033). Multivariate analysis showed the hazard ratio for the vaccinated group was 0.80 (CI: 0.62-0.98; P < .05). The median number of all-cause hospitalizations per 1000 person-months was 55 (0-111) for the vaccinated group and 55 (0-167) for the unvaccinated group (P < .01). The median number of pneumonia-related hospitalizations per 1000 person-months was 0 (0-55) for the vaccinated group and 0 (0-111) for the unvaccinated group (P < .01). CONCLUSIONS: Vaccination of trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine in Chinese nursing home older adults significantly reduced all-cause and pneumonia-related mortality and hospitalization.
- The Effectiveness of Preventative Mass Vaccination Regimes Against the Incidence of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza on Java Island, Indonesia.
Bett B, McLaws M, Jost C, et al. The Effectiveness of Preventative Mass Vaccination Regimes Against the Incidence of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza on Java Island, Indonesia. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]Transbound Emerg Dis 2013 May 23.We conducted an operational research study involving backyard and semicommercial farms on Java Island, Indonesia, between April 2008 and September 2009 to evaluate the effectiveness of two preventive mass vaccination strategies against highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). One regimen used Legok 2003 H5N1 vaccine, while the other used both Legok 2003 H5N1 and HB1 Newcastle disease (ND) vaccine. A total of 16 districts were involved in the study. The sample size was estimated using a formal power calculation technique that assumed a detectable effect of treatment as a 50% reduction in the baseline number of HPAI-compatible outbreaks. Within each district, candidate treatment blocks with village poultry populations ranging from 80 000 to 120 000 were created along subdistrict boundary lines. Subsequently, four of these blocks were randomly selected and assigned one treatment from a list that comprised control, vaccination against HPAI, vaccination against HPAI + ND. Four rounds of vaccination were administered at quarterly intervals beginning in July 2008. A vaccination campaign involved vaccinating 100 000 birds in a treatment block, followed by another 100 000 vaccinations 3 weeks later as a booster dose. Data on disease incidence and vaccination coverage were also collected at quarterly intervals using participatory epidemiological techniques. Compared with the unvaccinated (control) group, the incidence of HPAI-compatible events declined by 32% (P = 0.24) in the HPAI-vaccinated group and by 73% (P = 0.00) in the HPAI- and ND-vaccinated group. The effect of treatment did not vary with time or district. Similarly, an analysis of secondary data from the participatory disease and response (PDSR) database revealed that the incidence of HPAI declined by 12% in the HPAI-vaccinated group and by 24% in the HPAI + ND-vaccinated group. The results suggest that the HPAI + ND vaccination significantly reduced the incidence of HPAI-compatible events in mixed populations of semicommercial and backyard poultry.