Vaccine-Delivery Patch With Dissolving Microneedles Eliminates ‘Sharps,’ Boosts Protection

100718204733-large

An array of 36 dissolving microneedles is shown here on a fingertip for size comparison.

A new vaccine-delivery patch based on hundreds of microscopic needles that dissolve into the skin could allow persons without medical training to painlessly administer vaccines — while providing improved immunization against diseases such as influenza.

Continue reading… “Vaccine-Delivery Patch With Dissolving Microneedles Eliminates ‘Sharps,’ Boosts Protection”

0

Insect Cells Provide the Key to Alternative Swine Flu Vaccination

100104191928-large

Researchers have discovered how influenza vaccines can be produced faster than through the traditional method of egg-based production, revealing a new strategy for the fight against influenza pandemics.

Scientists in Vienna have developed a new technique for producing vaccines for H1N1 — so-called swine flu — based on insect cells. The research, published in the Biotechnology Journal, reveals how influenza vaccines can be produced faster than through the traditional method of egg-based production, revealing a new strategy for the fight against influenza pandemics.

Continue reading… “Insect Cells Provide the Key to Alternative Swine Flu Vaccination”

0

Flu Vaccines Hit A Wall – Scientists Struggle To Speed Vaccine Development

Vaccine

Making a vaccine against seasonal influenza is a constant catch-up game. Scientists must predict which of the constantly mutating virus strains will be most virulent six months in the future, the amount of time it takes to manufacture the vaccine. The system has worked well enough for the regular flu. But when new, virulent strains emerge–including the current, rapidly spreading swine flu (H1N1)–the traditional approach falls short. Even as consumers clamored for a vaccine, it took seven months and around 48,000 confirmed U.S. cases before the first H1N1 vaccines were shipped to hospitals around the country.

 

Continue reading… “Flu Vaccines Hit A Wall – Scientists Struggle To Speed Vaccine Development”

0

Aspirin Misuse Behind Huge Death Toll in 1918-1919 Flu Pandemic

Asprin 487

High doses of aspirin were used to treat patients during the 1918-1919 pandemic

The high death toll during the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic might be attributed to the misuse of aspirin, says an article.
Aspirin (Getty Images)
Published in the online edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases, the article sounds a cautionary note at a time when health experts are discussing their concerns about the novel H1N1 virus.
The write-up points out that high doses of aspirin were used to treat patients during the 1918-1919 pandemic.
Of late, adds the article, such high dosing has been found to increase the risk of toxicity and a dangerous build up of fluid in the lungs.
It further states that these toxicity and fluid build-up in the lungs might have contributed to the incidence and severity of symptoms, bacterial infections, and mortality during the 1918-1919 pandemic.
Additionally, autopsy reports from 1918 are consistent with what is currently known about the dangers of aspirin toxicity, as well as the expected viral causes of death.
Dr. Karen Starko, the author of article, says that the motivation behind the improper use of aspirin is a cautionary tale.
In 1918, notes the writer, doctors did not fully understand either the dosing or pharmacology of aspirin, yet they were willing to recommend it.
Its use was promoted by the drug industry, endorsed by doctors wanting to “do something”, and accepted by families and institutions desperate for hope, the author says.
“Understanding these natural forces is important when considering choices in the future. Interventions cut both ways. Medicines can save and improve our lives. Yet we must be ever mindful of the importance of dose, of balancing benefits and risks, and of the limitations of our studies,” Dr. Starko said.

The high death toll during the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic might be attributed to the misuse of aspirin, says an article.

Continue reading… “Aspirin Misuse Behind Huge Death Toll in 1918-1919 Flu Pandemic”

0

Swine Flu Update

090611152252-large.jpg

CDC developed PCR diagnostic test to detect novel H1N1 virus.

On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) raised the worldwide pandemic alert level to Phase 6 in response to the ongoing global spread of the novel influenza A (H1N1) virus, which causes swine flu. A Phase 6 designation indicates that a global pandemic is underway.

Continue reading… “Swine Flu Update”

0