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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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What makes viruses like the flu and covid so tolerant of mutations compared to most other viruses?

I was curious about why we benefit from yearly flu shots and apparently will also benefit from yearly covid booster shots too, whereas this doesn't seem to be the case for most other vaccines -- even ...
Mikayla Eckel Cifrese's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
225 views

Was there a flu season in paleolithic times?

In temperate climates, flu viruses rise and recede with winter. This is for a number of reasons, including lack of vitamin D production in darkness (which weakens the immune system), dry air (humidity ...
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Why does hemagglutinin transfection fail in HEK293 cells?

I have tried to transfect HEK293 cells with the Influenza A H1N1 PR8 Hemagglutinin expression plasmid. https://www.sinobiological.com/cdna-clone/h1n1-hemagglutinin-ha-vg11684-ch I used PEI MAX as the ...
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When and how did the Embecovirus acquire hemagglutinin esterase?

The Embecovirus is different from the rest of Betacoronavirus by possessing an additional protein, a hemagglutinin esterase (HE). There are known similarities between the HE's of different viruses (...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
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Vero cells and Influenza

I am currently reading a paper regarding Influenza. In the paper they describe a mutant and a WT, and the differences in replication. They grow the two strains in Vero cells (kidney epithelial cells). ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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How would a virus “evolve” if someone is infected with both the omicron and delta variants at the same time?

If someone is infected with both variants (let’s say within a day or two), what are some of the likely outcomes with respect to the virus “evolution”? is it most likely that only 1 of the 2 variants ...
Keith Knauber's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
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Do symptoms indicate 'strength' of someone's immune system?

(I am a layman, forgive any misconceptions) A friend recently got a cold; she had a sniffle, a sick feeling and it was barely more than an annoyance. A week later I get - presumably - the same cold; I ...
John's user avatar
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Is there any biological evidence corroborating a historians' claim that the 1918 "Spanish flu" originated from China?

A 2014 History article says According to new research by a Canadian historian, the 1918 flu outbreak that killed 50 million people originated in China. [...] Humphries found medical records ...
against very long user names's user avatar
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1 answer
216 views

Is COVID-19 more deadly than swine flu?

I have a question about the novel coronavirus and swine flu. How do the death rates compare between the two diseases? How do the transmissions and rate of transmission compare? Was a vaccine ...
apollowebdesigns's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
11k views

How did the Spanish Flu disappear?

In 1918 through 1920, an Influenza pandemic colloquially named the "Spanish Flu", ravaged the world. It infected about half a billion people, and killed as many as 50 million people. But my question ...
Nadav Har'El's user avatar
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1 answer
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Share immunity by kissing?

How can you get a cold by kissing someone who already has it, but you can't get their antibodies by kissing them after they recover? Or can you?
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What virus properties affect their airborne contagiousness?

What properties of a virus affect it's ability to be transmitted by air? I assume it must be able to withstand different temperatures and be smallish in size? For example why is influenza very ...
josh messitte's user avatar
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How did Smith et al 2004 deal with missing HI [Hemagglutination Inhibition assay] values and HI values <10?

In the scientific paper "Mapping the Antigenic and Genetic Evolution of Influenza Virus's" Supporting Material, Smith et al write about determining antigenic distance Dij. However, I don't understand ...
FIREREED's user avatar
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1 answer
55 views

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 ...
FIREREED's user avatar
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1 answer
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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/...
FIREREED's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
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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 ...
FIREREED's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
92 views

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, ...
FIREREED's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
213 views

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 ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
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1 answer
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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?
Sahar's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
996 views

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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1 answer
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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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1 answer
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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 ...
Sam's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
11k views

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 <...
Marek's user avatar
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18 votes
2 answers
9k views

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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1 answer
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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 ...
Tom's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
143 views

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 ...
user3407110's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
365 views

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 ...
Susan's user avatar
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5 votes
5 answers
512 views

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 ...
Léo Léopold Hertz 준영's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
10k views

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?
kuzzooroo's user avatar
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20 votes
4 answers
4k views

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, ...
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