science
You Know About Flu Season, but Did You Know About Gonorrhoea Season?

Like clockwork, the influenza virus rears its ugly head every winter and makes our lives miserable. But the flu isn’t the only germ that likes a particular time of year, according to a new paper published this week in PLOS Pathogens. Seemingly every infectious disease, including polio, gonorrhoea, and even HIV, is seasonal, though not always for the same reasons. Read More >>

science
We Now Have a New Drug to Treat the Flu

The flu vaccine remains the best proactive way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the influenza virus. But this upcoming flu season, there’ll be a new weapon available against the nasty disease. On Thursday, the US Food and Drug Administration announced their approval of a new antiviral treatment for the flu, said to be the first drug of its kind. Read More >>

science
People Still Weird About the Flu Vaccine, Especially in America

While the flu is no picnic for anyone, it can be especially risky and sometimes deadly for young children. But a new survey suggests many people still avoid the flu vaccine because of misconceptions about how it works, including that the vaccine actually can give you the flu. Read More >>

health
Why the Flu Kills Young, Otherwise Healthy People

As one of the worst flu seasons in years continues to sicken people across the country, one of its most striking aspects are the untimely deaths it’s caused: A 33-year-old teacher; an 18-year-old in Scotland; a 9-year-old boy. Infants, the elderly, and immunocompromised people are always at higher risk of dying from the flu, but how exactly does the flu kill an otherwise healthy person? Read More >>

health
It’s Much Easier to Catch the Flu Than we Realised, New Research Finds

Aside from getting vaccinated (which everyone should), an important strategy to evading the flu is regularly washing your hands and avoiding contact with the sneezes, coughs, and snot of sick people. Read More >>

health
Just Get The Damn Flu Shot

The flu tends to be the leaky basement pipe of disease: It’s easy enough to avoid doing something about it, right up until the point it completely bursts and ruins your month. But the flu is much more deadly than a flooded basement. Even at its weakest in recent years, the flu has killed 98 people in Britain this winter. And while this current flu season isn’t the world-shattering pandemic seen in 1918-1919, when a particularly bad strain infected around a third of the world’s population and killed 20 million to 50 million people, it’s gearing up to be the one of the worst in years. Hospitals in the US have had to set up emergency tents in their car parks to accommodate the deluge of flu victims. All of which is to say: For the love of god, no matter what your friends or family tell you or the rumours you’ve heard, just get the damn flu shot. It’s not too late. Read More >>

science
Frog Slime Could Prevent the Next Pandemic

New research from Emory University School of Medicine shows that a chemical in the mucus of South Indian frogs is capable of killing certain strains of the influenza virus. It’ll take a while for scientists to translate this finding into a useful medicine, but the discovery could lead to an entirely new source of powerful anti-viral drugs. Read More >>

science
Freak Bird Flu Outbreak Prompts NYC to Quarantine All 500 Shelter Cats

It’s difficult to explain exactly how it happened, but 386 New York City shelter cats have contracted a rare avian flu that had never before been seen in cats, and had not been seen in any animals at all in over ten years. Read More >>

research
How a Flu Virus Invades a Cell

Researchers from the University of Washington are the first to visualise the insidious way that the flu virus latches onto a cell and ploughs its way inside, causing an infection. Read More >>

science
The US Will Stop Funding Research into Making Mutant Super Viruses

Should scientists be allowed to create mutant viruses deadlier than natural ones? The White House waded into this controversy today with a surprising announcement to cut all funding to such studies, pending a thorough review of this risky research. Read More >>

health
“Crazy” Scientists Recreate Deadly Spanish Flu Strain in the Lab

A strain of flu extremely similar to the Spanish Flu that wiped out more than 50 million people 100 years ago has been built in the lab. Hopefully it's a new lab with triple glazed windows and robust policy on not taking tissues home. Read More >>

science
Military Future-Lasers Could Help Detect Bombs and the Flu

DARPA is investigating handheld UV laser devices to help soldiers detect biological and chemical weapons from a safe distance. But when they master that technology, it won't just be used on the battlefield; it could also help public health workers detect and track outbreaks of communicable diseases. Fighting flu with lasers? This really is the future. Read More >>

health
Tissue Stockpiles to Become Obsolete as Cure for Common Cold Draws Closer

It's the question that's puzzled pharmaceutical companies for an age: Is it possible to cure the common cold? Well, maybe now, yes -- British scientists have developed a new drug that could massively decrease the virility of the virus. Read More >>

health
​The Flu Shot is Less Effective in Men With High Testosterone

For years, Sabra Klein has been trying to start a conversation about sex. The Johns Hopkins immunologist studies why women have stronger immune systems than men—a phenomenon that underlies the fact that women are three times more likely to develop autoimmune diseases—but are also better protected by vaccines. The latter, however, has gotten very little attention from vaccine makers or doctors. Read More >>