Friday, January 18, 2008

Looking After Yourself and Your Family

There are many good sources for self-care information regarding practices for the pandemic.

Scientists from Geneva's University Hospital were asked by a Swiss bank to carry out a study amid worries that a flu pandemic could be prolonged due to the millions of bank notes incirculation.

Between 20 and 100 million banknotes change hands in Switzerland alone each day, it said.

The researchers left small samples of the flu virus on used banknotes which were then left at room temperature. Most of the virus survived only a few hours, but highly concentrated samples were viable for several days.

In the worst case, the virus mixed with human expectorant survived for two and a half weeks.

This type of virulence reinforces the observance of good self-care habits.

Prevention tips are especially essential, because each infected person is expected to transmit infection to two other people.

The following link will be a reminder of what you can do now, and what to do when the pandemic strikes.

Friday, January 4, 2008

New Vaccine Development

There has been a new step in the development of an effective vaccine against H5N1, the bird flu virus that's also dangerous to humans.

A preventative vaccine has been almost impossible to develop because of uncertainty over the final form of the virus when it mutates to a human pathogen.

According to virologists at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, a vaccine currently being tested protects against different variants of the H5N1 virus, including new strains.

With the addition of a substance that stimulates the immune system, the vaccine response is improved.

Human trials (and trials in weasles, also susceptible to viruses) are currently underway.