Getting tonsils removed puts you at risk of flu, asthma and pneumonia

Getting tonsils removed puts you at risk of flu, asthma and pneumonia

If you have had your tonsils removed in childhood, you may want to read this. A new study by the University of Melbourne in Australia and University of Copenhagen in Denmark found that removing tonsils and adenoids in childhood increases the risk of diseases like asthma, influenza and pneumonia. The scientists examined the long-term effects of these common paediatric surgeries for the first time. The adenoids and tonsils are strategically positioned in the nose and throat respectively to act as the first line of defence, helping to recognise airborne pathogens like bacteria…

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Will the 2018 flu vaccine be effective against the deadly virus?

Will the 2018 flu vaccine be effective against the deadly virus?

It is a high-stakes gamble with thousands of lives on the line. Yet twice a year, every year, the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) bets on the flu — which virus types are likely to dominate in the coming season. On this basis, a vaccine is prepared months in advance. “We cannot say for sure which virus will be circulating,” said Wenqing Zhang, head of the WHO’s global influenza programme. “What we’re doing is based on the best possible surveillance information and analysis, and basically to bet, or to project,…

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Flu virus: Why this common germ will remain a threat to your health

Flu virus: Why this common germ will remain a threat to your health

On a March morning 100 years ago, a soldier in Kansas reported to the infirmary with 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 third of the world’s population and killed as many as 100 million people. It could happen again. While the scale of the 1918-19 flu epidemic remains unparallelled, another pandemic is inevitable, experts say. Given the limitations of available drugs, flu-triggered respiratory diseases can…

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Airborne: No need for coughing or sneezing, flu may spread just by breathing

Airborne: No need for coughing or sneezing, flu may spread just by breathing

We may pass the flu to others just by breathing, according to a study which contradicts the popular belief that people can catch the influenza virus by exposure to droplets from an infected person’s coughs or sneezes. The study provides new evidence for the potential importance of airborne transmission because of the large quantities of infectious virus researchers found in the exhaled breath from people suffering from flu. “We found that flu cases contaminated the air around them with infectious virus just by breathing, without coughing or sneezing,” said Donald…

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WHO Warns About Lack of Antibiotics: Immunity Boosting Foods for the Flu Season

WHO Warns About Lack of Antibiotics: Immunity Boosting Foods for the Flu Season

A report released by World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated some shocking facts. According to it, antibiotics that are currently in clinical development are insufficient to combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance. Most of the drugs currently in the clinical phase are modifications of existing classes of antibiotics and are only short-term solutions. There are, however, very few potential treatment options. The growing resistant infections pose the greatest threat to health, including drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) which kills around 250,000 people each year. There are also very few oral antibiotics in…

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Ducks Gassed in Thousands as France Fights Bird Flu Virus

Ducks Gassed in Thousands as France Fights Bird Flu Virus

Workers wearing masks and protective clothes gassed thousands of ducks in southwest France on Friday, in a massive cull that was ordered in an attempt to prevent a spread of the H5N8 bird flu virus. At one farm in the village of Latrille, in the heartland of duck and geese rearing country, 8,000 ducks were taken by hand and put in coloured metal containers where carbon dioxide was piped in to kill them, normally within seconds. In scenes reminiscent of apocalypse-themed movies, workers clad in head-to-toe protective suits, face-visors and…

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Gujarat Begins To Cull Birds After Avian Flu Scare

Gujarat Begins To Cull Birds After Avian Flu Scare

As avian or bird flu reared its head in Gujarat after a decade, the state government sounded an alert and declared a 10-km radius around a poultry facility in Hathijan in Ahmedabad district a ‘regulated zone’ and culled over 1,500 birds till Wednesday afternoon. The government also placed restrictions on movement of poultry, eggs, bird droppings, farm machinery and any other equipment in the said area. The action comes a week ahead of the high-profile global investment summit ‘Vibrant Gujarat’ to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January…

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China Confirms Human Bird Flu Case in Guizhou Province

China Confirms Human Bird Flu Case in Guizhou Province

Health authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guizhou have confirmed a new human case of H7N9 avian influenza, state radio said, bringing the total number of human infections of the highly pathogenic strain to 19 this winter. The 49-year old man, who is a chicken trader, was being treated in hospital in Qiannan prefecture, the report said on Sunday. The local authorities were taking precautions to try and prevent the infection from spreading, the report said. A total of 19 people have been infected with bird flu in China…

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Bird Flu Infects 7 People in China This Month, Killing Two

Bird Flu Infects 7 People in China This Month, Killing Two

China has reported at least seven cases of bird flu in humans across the country this month, including two deaths, as authorities take steps to guard against an outbreak. Five cases of H7N9 bird flu infections have been diagnosed in central Anhui province since Dec. 8, and two people have died, state media reported. In Shanghai, officials said this week that a man was diagnosed with H7N9 and is being treated in a city hospital. Another case has been reported in Xiamen in coastal Fujian province, where poultry sales have…

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Bird Flu Hits British Turkey Farm

Bird Flu Hits British Turkey Farm

Britain on Friday announced the discovery of a highly contagious strain of bird flu at a turkey farm, and sought to allay fears the outbreak could affect the traditional Christmas meal. The H5N8 strain of avian flu was detected at a farm near Louth, a town in northeast England, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said. All of the more than 5,000 birds at the farm that have not died from the disease will be culled, Defra said. The government also announced it was restricting the movement…

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