Flu Season Returns: How to Stay Safe

While social distancing and wearing masks kept last year’s flu season at an all-time low, experts expect flu cases will soar this year as students return to school and employees go back to the office and are urging people to get their flu vaccine to prevent the nation’s health care system from being overwhelmed by influenza and COVID-19.
David Cennimo, an infectious disease expert at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, discusses what you should do to protect yourself during the upcoming flu season.

ACI, CDC Launch Redesigned “Healthy Schools, Healthy People” Website

The American Cleaning Institute (ACI) launched a new website for the Healthy Schools, Healthy People initiative, a joint effort of ACI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to promote hand hygiene and cleaning practices as a means to prevent the spread of infectious disease in schools and reduce illness-related absenteeism.

Rutgers Engineers Developing Rapid Breathalyzer Test for COVID-19

New Brunswick, N.J. (April 30, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick engineering professors Edward P. DeMauro, German Drazer, Hao Lin and Mehdi Javanmard are available for interviews on their work to develop a new type of fast-acting COVID-19 sensor that detects the presence…

UGA to establish national NIH-funded center to fight flu

The National Institutes of Health has awarded the University of Georgia a contract to establish the Center for Influenza Disease and Emergence Research (CIDER). The contract will provide $1 million in first-year funding and is expected to be supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of NIH, for seven years and up to approximately $92 million.

Houston Methodist expert notes COVID-19 precautions lead to historic drop in flu cases

A silver lining is emerging amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Influenza numbers are way down – 98 percent down, according to the CDC. Locally, during flu season last year, Houston Methodist’s system of eight hospitals saw 250 to 450 flu cases per week. This year the hospital system has seen only 2 to 5 flu cases per week so far. The numbers tell a striking story. Handwashing, masking and social distancing work.

Testing Wastewater for COVID-19

UNLV researcher Edwin Oh and colleagues have implemented wastewater surveillance programs to screen samples for the presence of COVID-19 and to extract the RNA from the SARS-COV-2 virus to find targets that make vaccines more effective.

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Risk Perception in COVID-19 Era

New Brunswick, N.J. (Oct. 26, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor William Hallman is available for interviews on the science of risk perception and its practical implications in the COVID-19 era – a time of fear and anxiety among millions of…

Flu Season Returns As The COVID-19 Pandemic Continues

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues with no end in sight, the annual flu season emerges once again. Cases of the flu have already begun to surface around the nation, and there are some reports of co-infection with COVID-19. Johns Hopkins Medicine experts say now is the time to take action to fight against the flu. Doctors recommend that everyone age 6 months and older get the flu vaccine each year to prevent infection from the virus or reduce the severity of the illness.

Flu Season Meets the COVID-19 Pandemic: Johns Hopkins Medicine Experts Available

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the world in sometimes devastating and unexpected ways, a more well-known illness — the flu — will make its annual debut in the coming weeks. Flu activity tends to increase in October and can run as late as May. It’s too soon to tell how flu season will definitively affect the current pandemic. However, Johns Hopkins Medicine experts say prevention will be key in reducing the spread of both illnesses, including getting an annual flu vaccine, washing hands, wearing a face mask or covering, and maintaining proper physical distancing.

Scientists Aim Gene-Targeting Breakthrough Against COVID-19

Scientists at Berkeley Lab and Stanford have joined forces to aim a gene-targeting, antiviral agent called PAC-MAN against COVID-19.

U.S. Workers Need Paid Sick Leave to Help Stop the Spread of Coronavirus

One-third of Americans do not have access to paid sick leave. Only the U.S. and Japan do not mandate a national sick leave benefit. Currently, seven states in the U.S. mandate that employers provide paid sick leave benefits. Given the latest information from the U.S. CDC regarding the potential impact that the coronavirus could have on the nation, researchers urge that it is critical to consider the role paid sick leave has in stopping the spread of a contagious virus.

New Tool Monitors Real Time Mutations In Flu

A Rutgers-led team has developed a tool to monitor influenza A virus mutations in real time, which could help virologists learn how to stop viruses from replicating. The gold nanoparticle-based probe measures viral RNA in live influenza A cells, according to a study in The Journal of Physical Chemistry C. It is the first time in virology that experts have used imaging tools with gold nanoparticles to monitor mutations in influenza, with unparalleled sensitivity.

Building a better flu shot

Each year millions of Americans become sick with the flu, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized and tens of thousands die. Getting the flu shot can reduce the chances of infection. But, at best, the vaccine is only effective 40% to 60% of the time, according to the CDC. Now Michigan State University researchers have data that show how cellular RNA levels change following infection or vaccination.

Mount Sinai Researchers Bring Us One Step Closer to Universal Influenza Vaccine

A team led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is getting closer to a universal flu vaccine using a novel approach they’ve developed called chimeric hemagglutinin (cHA).