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Health News Results - 110

It's well-known that COVID-19 pandemic restrictions pretty much quashed the 2020-2021 flu season, with influenza cases falling to never-before-seen lows in the United States.

So little flu circulated, in fact, that some scientists now suspect that one of the major strains of influenza might have gone extinct, for lack of humans to infect.

Influenza B/Yamagata is one of four strains ...

Flu activity in the United States is 23% higher so far this season than in 2020, sales of flu medications at Walgreens suggest.

The significant increase shown by the company's analysis of its own data reflects the historically low levels of flu last year as people stayed home, wore masks and got a record number of flu shots during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Walgreens Chief Medica...

  • Robert Preidt and Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster
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  • October 20, 2021
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It could be a bad flu season this year — and for a couple of years to come — in places in the United States where COVID-19 restrictions like social distancing and masking have been lifted, researchers warn.

These sorts of measures caused flu cases to decline by more than 60% within the first 10 weeks after COVID-19 lockdowns were implemented in 2020, Columbia University researchers fo...

Experts are warning that the upcoming flu season could be severe as social distancing measures are relaxed across the United States, but a new survey finds that 6 in 10 Americans may delay or skip a flu shot.

However, it also found that 98% of those who got a flu shot last season do plan to get one again this year.

While 82% of the 1,000 adult participants of the online survey sai...

A new survey showing that nearly half of U.S. adults are not likely to get a flu shot this season has prompted federal health officials to urge all Americans to get the flu vaccines.

Even more troubling is that the poll of 1,110 respondents aged 18 and older also found that nearly 1 in 4 of those at high risk for flu-related complications said they don't intend to get a flu shot, The ...

Social distancing and mask mandates during the pandemic nearly eliminated cases of the flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) among children, a new study finds.

"Numbers don't lie. Face masking, and proper hygiene and isolation, can be effective means to protect the vulnerable groups, such as the elderly and young children, during the respiratory virus season," said study author Dr. Os...

Although the focus is on the COVID-19 vaccine, don't forget to also get your flu shot — it's important, an expert says.

"In the United States, it is recommended that everyone over the age of 6 months be vaccinated against the flu, and there are many vaccines available that will fit your need based on age and other important risk factors," said Dr. Pedro Piedra. He is a professor of mole...

Someday, your smartwatch might be able to tell you if you're coming down with a virus and how sick you'll be — even before symptoms start.

In a small study, researchers showed that a wearable device, like a Fitbit or Apple Watch, could detect which patients had the H1N1 flu and which had a common cold.

"One of our goals was to be able to detect that infection before a person feel...

Health officials are bracing for a viral double whammy this fall and winter.

"This year, we expect influenza and COVID-19 to circulate at the same time," said Dr. Jonathan Grein, director of hospital epidemiology at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles.

That's why Grein and his colleagues remind Americans that it's time to get your seasonal flu shot. This fall, it's not only a key to keepin...

During the next few weeks or months, you might find yourself dropping by the doctor's office or pharmacy to get your annual flu shot along with a dose of COVID vaccine.

Unfortunately, you'll have to get two individual jabs. Though at least two drug companies are working on a combo flu/COVID booster, the single-dose shot won't be ready for this flu season.

But rest assured that it's ...

Parents of kids with asthma and allergies should prepare a plan to keep them safe as schools reopen, the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) says.

Along with guarding against COVID-19, it's important to protect against cold, flu and other viruses that pose a risk to children with asthma. That includes wearing masks, washing hands and using hand sanitizer whenever po...

A flu shot might offer some protection against severe effects of COVID-19, a new study suggests.

If you are infected with COVID-19, having had a flu shot makes it less likely you will suffer severe body-wide infection, blood clots, have a stroke or be treated in an intensive care unit, according to the study.

"Our work is important," said study co-author Dr. Devinder Singh, noting l...

Your job may significantly increase your risk of catching the flu, with potential implications for the spread of other infectious diseases including COVID-19, according to new research.

On average, working folks are 35% more likely to get the flu than those without jobs, but an analysis of U.S. federal data found sharp differences between certain jobs and industries.

The more work-r...

Infectious disease expert Ravina Kullar's husband has a cold. So does her sister-in-law.

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Clinic's waiting rooms are becoming much more frequented by folks with coughs, sneezes and sniffles, said family medicine physician Dr. Neha Vyas.

These folks are part of a nationwide trend occurring as COVID-19 vaccinations rise, masks drop, protective restrictions lift...

Public health precautions meant to reduce the spread of COVID-19 may have had an unintended but happy side effect.

They may also have benefited individuals who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a new study.

During the pandemic, admissions for COPD flare-ups dropped dramatically -- by 53% -- at University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) hospitals.

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There's more proof that getting a flu shot during pregnancy doesn't pose a risk to children's health.

"This study adds to what we know from other recent studies showing no harmful effects of flu vaccination during pregnancy on the longer-term health of children," said study leader Dr. Deshayne Fell, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Ottawa, in Canada.

"This...

The virus fueling the COVID-19 pandemic could become just an ordinary sniffle-causing nuisance within the next 10 years, a new study suggests.

Researchers stressed that the projection is based on mathematical models, and not a crystal-ball prediction.

But, they say, given what's known about the human immune response to SARS-CoV-2 -- the virus that causes COVID-19 -- it is possible t...

A new study adds to mounting evidence that COVID patients have an added risk of stroke.

Researchers analyzed data on more than 20,000 U.S. adults hospitalized with COVID-19 between January and November 2020. The analysis found that their risk of stroke was higher than for patients with other types of infections, including flu.

"These findings suggest that COVID-19 may increase the r...

If you're a 20-something who wants to stay sharp, listen up: A new study suggests poor health habits now may increase your risk of mental decline later in life.

Its authors say young adulthood may be the most critical time for adopting a healthy lifestyle in order to keep your brain sharp when you're older.

That's the upshot of an analysis of data from about 15,000 adults who were p...

While many Americans await their turn for the COVID vaccine, a potentially record-setting number have already had their flu shot.

That's the key finding in a nationwide poll of more conducted in December by the University of Georgia, involving more than 1,000 adults . In all, 43.5% of respondents said they had already had a flu shot, 13.5% said they would "definitely" get one; and 9.3% s...

The risk of death from COVID-19 is more than triple that from seasonal flu, researchers in Canada say.

Their findings are similar to recent studies from the United States and France. The study was published Feb. 10 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

"We can now say definitively that COVID-19 is much more severe than seasonal influenza," said study author Dr. Amol ...

Here's a new reason to make sure your kids get their seasonal flu shot.

A new study showed that it reduces kids' risk for symptoms and severe illness if they get COVID-19.

That conclusion is drawn from medical records of more than 900 children diagnosed with COVID-19 between February and August of last year.

Those who had their current flu shot were less likely to have COVID-1...

They're medical miracles: A new report finds that vaccines against 10 major diseases prevented 37 million deaths between 2000 and 2019 in low- and middle-income countries worldwide, with young children benefiting most.

Vaccinations are also projected to prevent a total of 69 million deaths between 2000 and 2030, researchers say.

Their modeling study also shows that vaccination again...

Like influenza, could COVID-19 evolve to wax and wane with the seasons? New research suggests it might.

Early in the pandemic, some experts suggested that SARS-CoV-2 -- the virus that causes COVID-19 -- may behave like many other coronaviruses that circulate more widely in fall and winter.

To find out if that could be true, researchers analyzed COVID-19 data -- including cases, deat...

Thirty-five detainees in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities have died since April 2018, often because of preventable causes, such as COVID-19, flu and suicide, according to a new study.

One of them was a Mexican citizen who had first entered the United States two decades ago. He died after a month in custody.

Medical records indicated the 54-year-old man appea...

The United States has far fewer flu cases than normal, and experts say it's probably due to measures people are taking to protect themselves from COVID-19.

Flu season usually peaks between December and February. Influenza typically causes about 45 million illnesses, 810,000 hospitalizations and 61,000 deaths in the United States each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control...

COVID-19 is far more harmful and deadly than the seasonal flu, new studies confirm.

Researchers analyzed U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs data on more than 3,600 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 between Feb. 1 and June 17 of this year, and more than 12,600 hospitalized with the flu between Jan. 1, 2017 and Dec. 31, 2019. The average age of patients in both groups was 69.

The d...

Getting a high-dose flu shot instead of a regular dose doesn't further reduce the risk of serious flu-complications, hospitalization or death in people with heart disease, new research shows.

The findings don't change established guidelines. Heart disease patients and other people with chronic illnesses do benefit from flu shots and should get one every year, according to the authors...

Scientists say they may be getting closer to creating a universal flu vaccine.

In an early-stage clinical trial with 65 volunteers in the United States, an experimental vaccine triggered strong immune responses to a wide range of flu virus strains and subtypes. The immune responses lasted at least 18 months, according to the researchers at Mount Sinai Health System, in New York City.

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Cancer survivors have higher odds of dying from seasonal flu, suggesting they may also be at increased risk from COVID-19 and may need to be among the first in line for vaccination against both diseases.

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine analyzed medical data from more than 630,000 people in the United Kingdom between 1990 and 2014, including more than 10...

Among young adults with heart disease, less than 25% get a flu shot, a new study finds.

"Individuals with cardiovascular disease are more likely to have flu than among those without any chronic health conditions," said researcher Dr. Tarang Parekh, a Ph.D. candidate and assistant researcher at George Mason University College of Health and Human Services in Fairfax, Va.

Getting the ...

Cold and flu season is here, so you need to know how to tell the difference between those illnesses and COVID-19, an expert says.

It's also especially important to get a flu shot this year, according to Dr. Sadiya Khan, assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

"By getting a flu vaccine, you not only protect y...

The coronavirus and the flu are two entirely different viruses. But a new study suggests those who get a flu vaccine face a considerably lower risk for being hospitalized if and when they get COVID-19.

And the flu vaccine also appears to significantly reduce a COVID-19 patient's risk for ending up in an intensive care unit (ICU), researchers say.

The findings are based on an an...

People who get enough vitamin A, D and E may be less likely to complain of coughs and sore throat, though it's not clear the nutrients are the reason why, new research suggests.

The study, of over 6,100 U.K. adults, found that those who consumed more of the vitamins were less likely to have "respiratory complaints" -- like coughs, "chest" infections, trouble breathing and sore throat.

...

It's flu season. In the middle of a coronavirus pandemic. Is this any time to be thinking about your risk of stroke?

Yes, researchers say. Having either influenza or the coronavirus seems to increase the odds of having an ischemic stroke – the type where blood flow in the brain is blocked. While the number of people affected may be small, understanding the dynamics can help everyo...

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu shot this season, the American Medical Association (AMA) says.

With the coronavirus pandemic raging, a flu shot is more important than ever to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community from the flu.

"Routine vaccination is essential preventive care for children, adolescents and adults -- including pregnant women ...

Despite a potential looming "twindemic" of influenza and COVID-19, about 2 in 5 U.S. adults do not plan to get a flu shot, a new survey shows.

Only 59% of adults surveyed said they will get the influenza vaccine during the 2020-2021 flu season, according to results released Thursday by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

That's up slightly from the 52% w...

The coronavirus pandemic and the upcoming flu season could pose a double threat, but many U.S. parents plan to skip flu shots for their kids, a new survey finds.

Though public health experts stress the need for people of all ages to get the seasonal flu vaccine during the COVID-19 pandemic, 1 in 3 U.S. parents said they don't plan on taking their child for a flu shot this fall. Just a...

The best time to get your flu shot is now if you want to protect yourself against a potential "twindemic" infection of influenza and COVID-19, experts say.

"Early September, at the very least early October, is the best time to get your flu shot. That really allows your body to build up the appropriate immune response in time for the peak prevalence of influenza in the community," Dr. ...

Aches and fatigue quickly progressed to fever with severe chills, but the terrible and unrelenting headache was the real signal that actress Rita Wilson was in for a rough ride following her infection with COVID-19.

"It was a massive headache that really lasted for about two weeks," Wilson recalls. "It was relentless. It wasn't like Tylenol was making it go away or anything like that....

The final statistics are in for America's last flu season, and the news is good: Record low rates of influenza were reported as cases plummeted during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why? Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believe the social distancing measures put into place across the country last spring kept more than the new coronavi...

COVID-19 is unlike other respiratory viruses known to humans, but in time it could evolve into a seasonal scourge like the flu.

That's according to a new report in which researchers lay out the case for a possible seasonal COVID.

The scenario depends on many unknowns, and assumes the new coronavirus will bend to weather factors. And that would not happen until enough people ...

While adults face raised odds for hospitalization with COVID-19, a new study shows that the risk for kids infected with SARS-CoV-2 is about equal to that seen with influenza.

The researchers found that kids with COVID-19 or the seasonal flu have similar rates of hospitalization, admission to intensive care units (ICUs) and ventilator use.

But the average age of children hosp...

Pregnant women are understandably worried about everything that goes into their bodies. But here's one worry they can cross off that list: flu shots.

A large, new study has confirmed that an expectant woman's flu shot doesn't increase the risk of autism in her child. And that's true even if the vaccine is given during the first trimester of pregnancy, the Swedish study found.

...

Flu and pneumonia vaccines lead to fewer hospital deaths among heart failure patients, a new study finds.

"Our study provides further impetus for annual immunizations in patients with heart failure. Despite advice to do so, uptake remains low," said study author Dr. Karthik Gonuguntla, of the University of Connecticut.

In heart failure, your heart can't pump blood as well as...

New research that shows flu viruses can spread through the air on dust, fibers and other microscopic particles has implications for the spread of the new coronavirus, scientists say.

"It's really shocking to most virologists and epidemiologists that airborne dust, rather than expiratory droplets, can carry influenza virus capable of infecting animals," said lead researcher William Ris...

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a new U.S. study serves as a reminder of how severe the seasonal flu can be.

Researchers found that among 90,000 Americans hospitalized with the flu, 12% had a serious heart complication, including heart attack and sudden heart failure. Many ended up in the intensive care unit, and 7% died in the hospital.

The study shows that COVID-19 isn...

When elementary school students get their annual flu shot, everyone benefits, a new study shows.

An increased vaccination rate among grade schoolers in California was associated with a decrease in flu hospitalizations for folks in every other age bracket, researchers report.

The results come as no surprise to public health experts, given children's well-earned reputation as ...

Fall is approaching, and so is the possibility of what public health officials are calling a "twindemic" -- overlapping epidemics of both COVID-19 and influenza.

A bad flu season coupled with continued COVID-19 outbreaks could increase people's risk of fatal illness and overwhelm hospital capacity in communities already scrambling to treat coronavirus patients, experts say.

...

Both flu and COVID-19 can raise your risk for a stroke, but the odds appear to be eight times higher with the coronavirus, a new study finds.

Among more than 1,900 patients with COVID-19, 1.6% suffered a stroke, versus 0.2% of nearly 1,500 patients seriously ill with flu, researchers found.

"Doctors and practitioners taking care of patients with COVID-19 infection s...

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