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Questions tagged [influenza]

An infection, also known as the flu, caused by one of the many strains of influenzavirus, a segmented, single-stranded, negative-sense RNA virus in the family Orthomyxoviridae.

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Choosing viruses for influenza vaccine

When scientists choose viruses for the influenza vaccine based on biological and clinical data, what indicates that a certain strain will circulate and likely be dominant in a certain season? Does a ...
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Amino acid substitutions near the receptor binding site HA protein in type A H3N2 influenza strains?

I have read the scientific paper, "Substitutions Near the Receptor Binding Site Determine Major Antigenic Change During Influenza Virus Evolution" by Björn F. Koel et al (http://science.sciencemag.org/...
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How does one predict how large of an effect on antigenic drift a substitution in the amino acid sequence of a surface protein of influenza has?

I know that some amino acid substitutions are more effective in causing antigenic drift than other substitutions based on their location in the 3d structure of the HA protein (proximity to the ...
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Where can I find hemagglutination inhibition (HI) assay data?

I am looking for hemagglutination inhibition assay data for type A influenza virus. I've checked in databases such as fludb.com, however it seems to only have genetic data. A lot of the time, ...
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What portion of America needs the Flu vaccine for herd immunity effects to become substantial?

I've been looking at the effectiveness of Flu vaccines, which are in my subjective opinion abysmal, and the concept of herd immunity. I see many articles which argue that we all need flu shots to ...
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How can I perform virus neutralization assay for influenza?

How can I perform a Virus Microneutralization assay for influenza virus using serum from mice vaccinated with this virus?
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Does vaccination make the immune system “lazy”?

I was having this discussion with a friend over vaccination against the flu. Although he agrees that vaccination against almost all diseases is necessary, he said that flu shots are not. He argued ...
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How long does immunity to influenza last when contracting the disease vs vaccination

The long term efficacy of flu vaccines are well documented, however I cannot seem to find a good source showing how long immunity lasts when contracting the disease. I suspect it can't be much longer ...
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For how long can influenza survive on a piece of paper?

Consider the following hypothetical: A graduate student would like to return a set of assignments before a certain deadline, but she currently has the flu and may sneeze or cough while grading the ...
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How to calculate the geometric mean titer (GMT) of titers from a haemagglutination assay (influenza)?

I got a list of Influenza-specific antibody titers from a hemagglutination inhibition assay. They look like this: 40 640 <...
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Why does immunity from the flu vaccine appear only after two weeks?

It is said that immunity from a flu vaccine appears after about two weeks. However, from experience, the flu usually lasts only a few days. If sufficient antibodies appear only after two weeks ...
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Why does influenza sometimes cause GI symptoms?

I'm speaking strictly of influenza, not gastroenteritis which is sometimes mistakenly called "stomach flu." I just read this article on the mechanism through which rotavirus causes diarrhea and ...
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Why does flu vaccination only work against specific strains?

I was wondering why the flu vaccination doesn't protect us from all different types of flu. I know there are 3 major groups A, B and C and they mutate really fast. For example Influenza A virus has 2 ...
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What is the difference between influenza A and B viruses that causes their distinct seasonal patterns?

I recently learned from an answer at health.SE* that influenza B tends to occur later in the season compared to influenza A. According to the graph in that answer, during this year’s flu season the ...
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Can an influenza virus carry other infectors with it?

This idea came to my mind when thinking about how many people become ill in many locations with similar symptoms (fever and rough cough) from Influenza. There are of course different types of ...
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Why do I need a flu shot every year, while many other vaccinations last years or even a lifetime?

Is it a viral vs. bacterial thing? Is there just more variety among types of flu than other diseases, so that this year's vaccines don't cover next year's flu?
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How to understand influenza strain designations?

What do the strain designations for flu mean? For example avian flu is classified as H5N1, what do the letters H, ...