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This flu season arrived early and hit children hard, but experts say you can dodge the flu by boosting your immune system.

How? By living a healthy lifestyle and getting sufficient sleep, according to experts from Purdue University's School of Nursing, in West Lafayette, Ind.

So far, nearly 13 million flu cases have been diagnosed this season in the United States, while 39 c...

This flu season is hitting children particularly hard, but new research shows that a flu shot is still well worth it for these youngest patients.

Getting vaccinated halved the risk of hospitalization for flu-related complications among young kids, scientists found.

The researchers analyzed vaccination data from more than 3,700 children, ages 6 months to 8 years, who were adm...

How bad or how long this year's flu season will be remains to be seen. But one thing is already clear: It's proving to be an especially lethal season for infected children.

Fueled by a strain of influenza that children may be especially vulnerable to, less than two months into flu season 39 children have already died, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Pre...

Millennials are less likely to have had a flu shot this season and are more likely than other American adults to agree with some false anti-vaccination information, according to a new nationwide survey.

The results also showed that nearly one-third of adults polled don't plan to get a flu shot and many underestimate how deadly flu can be.

The American Academy of Family Phys...

An experimental flu vaccine gave mice long-lasting protection against six different flu virus strains, researchers report.

The nanoparticle vaccine contains two major influenza proteins -- matrix protein 2 ectodomain (M2e), and neuraminidase (NA) -- and protected the mice for up to four months.

The results suggest that this combination has potential as a universal flu vaccin...

This year's flu season has already turned bad quickly, and experts worry the worst is still to come.

Flu cases and flu-related hospitalizations have risen sharply since October, with at least 6.4 million reported cases and 55,000 hospitalizations, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At least 2,900 Americans have died from the flu, the CDC report...

Flu continues to spread throughout the United States and has reached elevated levels in nearly every state.

"We're still seeing an increase in activity, which is what we've been experiencing over the last few weeks," said Dr. Scott Epperson, an epidemiologist in the influenza division of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

So far the CDC estimates th...

As an early flu season spreads its misery across the United States, new research shows that few child care centers require children or their adult caregivers to get a flu shot.

Flu can be especially dangerous for children, who have a greater risk than adults for serious complications, hospitalization and even death, the researchers noted.

"When ki...

If you already have a cold, you're less likely to get the flu, and vice versa, a large new study shows.

That finding could lead to improved prediction of cold and flu outbreaks as well as new ways to control the diseases' spread, British researchers said.

While this interaction between colds and the flu has been observed, this is the first study large enough to provide stron...

The flu season is off to a fast and furious start, with a strain of the virus that normally arrives later in the season making a strong early appearance, U.S. health officials said Friday.

Flu is now widespread across many parts of the country, said Lynnette Brammer, leader of the domestic influenza surveillance team at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"...

It's cold and flu season, and the usual advice is being dispensed: Get the influenza vaccine, wash your hands regularly and avoid contact with anyone who's already sick.

But is there anything else we can do?

"You can't be overly cautious," said Dr. Trish Perl, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. "But you have to be smart. A l...

As the long-running television show "Modern Family" wraps up its final season, one of the show's stars is taking on a new role raising awareness about the importance of preventing and treating flu.

Actress Julie Bowen was sidelined a few years ago by flu, and wishes she had known how important it is to see your doctor right away.

"My job and having young children mean exha...

Outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases are on the across rise in the United States, often fueled by "anti-vaxxer" parents reluctant to immunize their kids.

However, states are countering these trends with laws to boost childhood vaccination rates and safeguard children, a new study finds.

"Vaccines are our best public health tool for controlling many childhood diseases," ...

Whether you have caught the flu yet this season might depend on where you live.

Flu levels are already climbing throughout the South, particularly in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina, and Puerto Rico, according to the latest statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As for the rest of the country, things are relatively quiet...

It seems like a no brainer: The flu shot protects heart patients from illness and death, so getting one should be the first thing they do every year before the season starts.

But new research shows that a third of these vulnerable patients don't get vaccinated.

"Patients need to be educated about the benefits of the flu vaccination," said study lead author Dr. Gowtham Grand...

Getting a flu shot before heart bypass surgery can head off inflammation throughout the body and possibly lead to a healthier recovery, a new study suggests.

Heart surgery has been associated with inflammation and altered immune function, said Dr. Fady Ebrahim, lead author of the preliminary study to be presented Sunday in Philadelphia at the American Heart Association's Scientific S...

Flu sufferers may soon have a new antiviral drug on hand to ease their fever, chills and body aches.

The new pill, which targets the genetics of influenza viruses, has shown that it can reduce fever and respiratory symptoms in lab animals, as well as reducing the overall amount of virus in their bodies, researchers report.

Preparations are underway for human trials of the "n...

If Australia was any indication, the flu season here will arrive early, so get your flu shot now, U.S. health officials said Thursday.

While the flu that circulated in the Southern Hemisphere in the past six months seemed severe, that was more the result of an early arrival of the season and better reporting of cases, said Dr. Scott Epperson, an epidemiologist in the influenza divisi...

About two-thirds of pregnant women in the United States don't get vaccinated against both flu and whooping cough, putting them and their newborns at risk, a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

"Influenza and pertussis (or whooping cough) are serious infections that can be deadly for babies, especially those who are too young to be vaccinated direc...

Although no one knows yet how severe this flu season will be, now is the time to get vaccinated, health officials say.

Already this season, a 4-year-old from California who recently died tested positive for influenza, local health officials reported earlier this month. The child did have underlying health conditions, they added.

"Flu is incredibly unpredictable," said Lynne...

If you have high blood pressure, getting a flu shot could save your life, researchers say.

A new study found that patients with high blood pressure who got a flu shot had a nearly 18% lower risk of dying during flu season.

Previous research has found that the stress flu puts on the body may trigger heart attacks and strokes. Patients with hig...

If you have multiple sclerosis (MS), you can and should receive recommended vaccinations -- including annual flu shots, a new American Academy of Neurology guideline says.

"We reviewed all of the available evidence, and for people with MS, preventing infections through vaccine use is a key part of medical care," said guideline lead author Dr. Mauricio Farez.

"People with MS ...

Here's some bad news for older women during flu season: Aging reduces the stronger immune response that women typically have to vaccination, a new study finds.

"We need to consider tailoring vaccine formulations and dosages based on the sex of the vaccine recipient, as well as their age," said study senior author Sabra Klein. She is an associate professor in the department of molecula...

THURSDAY, July 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women can take comfort in new findings that suggest flu vaccines won't harm their fetuses.

Canadian researchers examined data on more than 104,000 children born in the province of Ontario between November 2009 and October 2010. Of those, 30% were born to mothers who received the H1N1 vaccine during their pregnancy.

Th...

Steering clear of folks who are coughing and sneezing is one way to prevent catching the flu. Avoiding e-cigarettes may be another, new research suggests.

In a small study including smokers, e-cigarette users and nonsmokers, researchers saw that both traditional cigarette smokers and "vapers" were more susceptible to flu.

But cigarettes and e-cigarettes appeared to boost fl...

Ever wonder why the flu rarely strikes in the summer?

New research offers an explanation: That dry air your heating system sends throughout your home in the winter weakens your immune system, making you a prime target for viral infection.

Cold temperatures and low humidity were known to increase transmission of flu viruses, but exactly how low humidity affects the immune sy...

What looked like a mild flu season in December has turned into the longest flu season in five years, U.S. health officials report.

The season is so prolonged because two waves of flu viruses hit one after the other, making it like two flu seasons in one.

"Those two waves together have made it a long season and a moderately severe season," said Lynnette Brammer, leader of the...

Many hospital workers and patients spread the flu before they show any symptoms, a new study says.

The bottom line: Current flu infection control measures in hospitals may be inadequate, the Swiss researchers say.

"Our findings suggest that influenza infection in acute care is common and a significant proportion of individuals appear to shed influenza virus without harboring...

Though flu season has probably peaked, beware: Influenza is still widespread in much of the United States, federal health officials said Friday.

"This week activity decreased a little bit, but flu is going to be around for a while," said Lynnette Brammer, from the domestic influenza surveillance team at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Making matters wor...

Weakened hearts grow weaker and fail when influenza rages throughout the land, a new study reports.

Hospitalizations for heart failure increased dramatically in months when the flu season was at its worst: For every 5 percent monthly increase in flu activity, researchers observed a 24 percent increase in hospitalization rates for heart failure.

On average, as many as 1 in 5 ...

Good news for kids: Next flu season, you can avoid a painful needle jab and get the nasal vaccine spray instead, according to a leading U.S. pediatricians' group.

In recent flu seasons, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended the shot over the nasal spray -- except if a child refused a shot -- due to questions about the nasal spray's effectiveness. However, changes to the nasal...

Americans aren't out of the woods yet, as the flu season continues to spread across the country, health officials reported Friday.

One major shift that's occurred is in the viruses that are circulating. At the start of the flu season, the predominant strain was influenza A H1N1, but now a more severe strain, influenza A H3N2, accounts for nearly half of all the new cases, according t...

THURSDAY, Feb. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- This year's flu shot is already outperforming the vaccine issued during the tough 2017-2018 influenza season, federal health officials reported Thursday.

The 2017-2018 flu shot offered just 25 percent effectiveness against the predominant strain of flu that season, H3N2. But this year's shot offers 47 percent protection against all circulat...

Flu season is reaching its peak in the United States, which means emergency departments could fast become crowded with people who really aren't sick enough to be there.

Healthy people who have flu-like symptoms such as high fever, muscle or body aches, exhaustion and loss of appetite should not go to the emergency department, according to medical experts at the University of Alabama a...

FRIDAY, Feb. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Though much of the United States is in the grip of the flu, the season hasn't peaked yet, health officials said Friday.

As of Feb. 2, flu is widespread in 47 states, and 24 states are experiencing high levels of the disease. In addition, hospitalizations are increasing, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Flu can make you deathly ill, but it could also trigger a stroke or a rupture in your neck arteries, two new studies suggest.

The findings prompted an urgent reminder from the researchers: Getting a flu shot will not only protect you against infection but may also reduce your risk for these serious complications.

Researchers in the first study found that flu can increase you...

Seasonal flu and other respiratory infections may be especially dangerous for kidney failure patients, researchers say.

A new study found that influenza-like illnesses likely contribute to more than 1,000 deaths among kidney failure patients in the United States each year. These illnesses include potentially serious respiratory tract infections caused by flu and other viruses.

...

Nearly 25 percent of antibiotics prescribed in the United States are given for conditions they aren't meant to treat, a new study finds.

Antibiotics are miracle drugs that can cure deadly bacterial infections. But too often they are given to treat viral infections, such as colds and flu, for which they are ineffective.

And the overuse of antibiotics brings public health da...

It's not too late to get your flu shot, which can protect you in ways that may surprise you.

The flu vaccine can be a lifesaver for people with heart disease, according to infectious disease specialist Dr. Michael Chang, assistant professor of pediatrics at University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

"Previous studies have shown influenza vaccination could reduce d...

The flu season is picking up steam, with about 7 million Americans having been struck by a strain of the flu virus, health officials said Friday.

Almost half of those folks went to a doctor, while between 69,000 and 84,000 people have been hospitalized for flu-related illness, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a new release.

As of Jan. 5, 15 states ...

Pregnant women who get a flu shot protect not only themselves, but also their developing baby, health officials report.

When a mom-to-be gets the flu, she can be so sick she needs to be admitted to a hospital's intensive care unit. And new research finds her baby then runs the risk of being born preterm, underweight and with a low "Apgar score" -- a gauge of an infant's overall heal...

Problems with flu vaccine distribution in the United States may cost lives and pose a serious threat in the event of a flu pandemic, researchers warn.

However, a computer model shows that proposed changes to the current distribution system could save thousands of lives, said study co-leader Pinar Keskinocak.

She and her colleagues recommend replenishing flu vaccine stocks in...

Many doctors may worry about giving their hospital patients a flu shot, but a new study suggests they can relax.

"We know rates of inpatient flu vaccination are low, often due to physician concerns that the vaccine could complicate healing or delay hospital discharge," explained study author Sara Tartof, from the Kaiser Permanente Southern California department of research and evaluat...

If you suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a flu shot can be a lifesaver. But many of the millions with the lung condition don't get it, researchers report.

COPD causes inflammation in the lungs and it can flare up when triggered by the flu, making the infection worse, explained lead researcher Dr. Sunita Mulpuru. She is an associate scientist at Ottawa Hospital...

The flu is now spreading throughout the United States, health officials said Friday.

Since last week, when nine states and New York City were reporting high flu activity, 19 states and New York City are now seeing a lot of flu, and it's widespread in 24 states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The season is really starting to pick up," sai...

Flu spreads like wildfire in confined spaces -- and that includes subways, a new British study finds.

The longer your ride and the more stations you encounter during your daily commute, the higher your odds of getting sick, the researchers found.

University of Bristol researcher Lara Gosce and colleagues found fewer cases of flu in places where people did not rely as much ...

The scourge of opioid addiction and related deaths cut through American society again in 2018, capturing headlines and making it the year's top health story.

Rates of opioid-linked fatal overdoses have nearly doubled over the past decade and topped 70,000 in 2017, according to data released in November by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention....

The flu has ramped up in time for Christmas, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

Just last week, the CDC said the flu season was off to a slow start, but all that changed a couple of days ago when the number of reported cases rose to the point where the flu season is officially underway, said CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield.

To comba...

Flu season is getting off to a slow but steady start, a U.S. health official said Friday.

As of now, only Georgia is seeing high levels of infections, but cases are being reported throughout the nation.

"Flu activity is still fairly low, but as expected we have been seeing activity slowly increasing over the last few weeks," said Alicia Budd, an epidemiologist at the U.S. Ce...

If you have heart failure, a flu shot can truly be a lifesaver, researchers report.

A study of patients in Denmark who were recently diagnosed with heart failure found that a flu shot cut their risk of premature death by 18 percent, compared with not getting a shot.

Annual flu shots also reduced patients' risk of dying from any cause or from cardiovascular disease by 19 perc...