Don't let the flu get you this holiday season

Scientists may have found the key ingredient for a universal flu vaccine and it comes from llamas

Scientists may have found the key ingredient for a universal flu vaccine and it comes from llamas

The Indiana State Department of Health says the victim was 65 years or older, but did not indicate which county the death occurred in. For one thing, its effectiveness fluctuates from year to year. At best, a flu vaccine will have a 60% efficacy at reducing the risk of illness.

"We are very saddened by this death and send condolences to the loved ones of this person", said State Epidemiologist Zack Moore, M.D., MPH.

Flu shots will be available to adults and children who are school age and older. Even healthy people can be infected and spread the flu virus without showing symptoms.

One clue to what might happen in the U.S.is how the flu season played out in the Southern Hemisphere during fall and winter there, said Grant McFadden, director of the ASU Biodesign Center for Immunotherapy, Vaccines and Virotherapy. From these sdAbs, Laursen and colleagues generated a highly potent multi-domain antibody (MDAb), antibodies that can target multiple antigen epitopes, called MD3606. The mega-antibody grabbed tightly onto 59 strains, preventing them from multiplying in cells. Those that wish to get their flu shot after November 21 will need schedule an appointment with the Health Department. It's important just to get the flu vaccine as soon as possible. So the researchers tried an alternative strategy: sidestepping the immune system altogether.The investigators loaded the gene into a harmless virus and sprayed it into the noses of mice. The team used some of the deadliest strains and delivered what should have been a lethal dose of each.But the new antibodies grabbed hold of the viruses and prevented them from multiplying.

Despite the hope that this country may duplicate Australia's flu season, Murti said Canadians shouldn't assume there's no point in getting vaccinated. Both it and the flu vaccine can be accessed at public health offices, nursing stations, doctor's offices, access centres and for those age seven and up, at pharmacies.

The reason why llama antibodies work so well is that they have the smallest binding sites of any known antibody. If so, they might attack, causing a potentially risky reaction.Human trials will be needed to determine how safe the new antibodies are.

Through Oct. 20, the county had three positive influenza cases reported, which included two the week of Oct. 13 and one last week. The flu season is shaping up to be far more serious this year as compared to last, with 101 cases reported across the state this week.

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