A Mid-flu Season Update

Flu Snapshot:  As of February, 2014, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports seasonal flu activity is elevated nationally, but rates vary from place to place, rising in some areas, declining in others.  Flu activity, which usually peaks in January or February, is expected to continue for several more weeks. Flu IQ


How to Tell the Difference between the Flu and the Common Cold

The winter holidays are for gathering with family and friends, but sometimes we exchange more than gifts and small talk during the festivities. Cold and flu viruses are usually present in impressive numbers at holiday functions, turning every guest into a potential host–of a viral infection. Sick is sick, and it’s never fun to be


When Flu Comes a-Knockin’ at Your Door: Ten Steps to Prevent Flu Spreading through Your Household

Flu season is here again, and although “influenza activity”–to use the language of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—is low right now, it is expected to increase in the coming weeks. So, what steps should you take when flu comes a-knockin’ at your door? How can you reduce the risk of infection


Help Resist Flu by Washing and Drying Your Hands Appropriately

Which to use: Electric air dryer or paper towels? You may be better off drying your hands with paper towels. It is January and the flu season is off to its earliest start in 10 years (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)). CDC currently reports that 41 states have widespread influenza activity as of


Flu Vaccination Blitz Needed for Long-term Healthcare Workers

The flu vaccine represents the single best strategy for preventing the flu, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Many healthcare workers are vaccinated every year to help reduce their risk of contracting the flu and spreading it to their patients and families.  Long-term care patients in particular may be prone


InFLUenza: Early 2012 Update and Tips for Staying Healthy

Flu News: 2011-2012 Flu Season: So Far, So Good Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) flu prevalence maps indicate flu season is off to a slow start. But don’t be complacent: Flu activity most often peaks during the month of FEBRUARY. Flu Season is Unpredictable In the U.S., on average, 5 -20% of the


Flu Shots: Save Your Health, Your Marriage, Your Holiday

As brilliant gold and red leaves fall from the trees, the majesty of winter is ushered in, along with…flu season. Flu season also coincides with the busiest travel period of the year, an unfortunate coincidence that according to the Walgreens Flu Impact Report, contributed to foiling the plans of over three million US vacations last


Are Hand Sanitizers Better than Hand Washing for Combating the Common Cold?

According to a new study reported by the ASM, hand sanitizers containing ethanol are much more effective at removing rhinovirus from hands than washing with soap and water. Hand sanitizers containing both ethanol and organic acids significantly reduced recovery of the virus from hands and rhinovirus infection up to 4 hours following use. The researchers of


Flu Vaccination Protects Entire Communities

When children are vaccinated against the seasonal flu, the entire community benefits. A study by theNational Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) found that people living in communities in which about 80 percent of the children were vaccinated were much less likely to contract seasonal influenza, even if they themselves had not been vaccinated. This


Virus Hybridization Could Create Pandemic Bird Flu

According to a new study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, genetic interactions between avian influenza (H5N1) and human seasonal influenza viruses have the potential to create hybrid strains combining the virulence of bird flu with the pandemic ability ofH1N1. The study showed that in laboratory experiments with mice, a single gene segment from a human seasonal flu