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Concept: Influenza-like illness


School-located influenza vaccination (SLIV) programs can substantially enhance the sub-optimal coverage achieved under existing delivery strategies. Randomized SLIV trials have shown these programs reduce laboratory-confirmed influenza among both vaccinated and unvaccinated children. This work explores the effectiveness of a SLIV program in reducing the community risk of influenza and influenza-like illness (ILI) associated emergency care visits.

Concepts: Infectious disease, Virus, Vaccine, Vaccination, Influenza, Program, Influenza vaccine, Influenza-like illness



Background Improved influenza vaccines are needed to control seasonal epidemics. This trial compared the protective efficacy in older adults of a quadrivalent, recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV4) with a standard-dose, egg-grown, quadrivalent, inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV4) during the A/H3N2-predominant 2014-2015 influenza season, when antigenic mismatch between circulating and vaccine influenza strains resulted in the reduced effectiveness of many licensed vaccines. Methods We conducted a randomized, double-blind, multicenter trial of RIV4 (45 μg of recombinant hemagglutinin [HA] per strain, 180 μg of protein per dose) versus standard-dose IIV4 (15 μg of HA per strain, 60 μg of protein per dose) to compare the relative vaccine efficacy against reverse-transcriptase polymerase-chain-reaction (RT-PCR)-confirmed, protocol-defined, influenza-like illness caused by any influenza strain starting 14 days or more after vaccination in adults who were 50 years of age or older. The diagnosis of influenza infection was confirmed by means of RT-PCR assay and culture of nasopharyngeal swabs obtained from participants with symptoms of an influenza-like illness. The primary end point was RT-PCR-confirmed, protocol defined, influenza-like illness between 14 days or more after vaccination and the end of the influenza season. Results A total of 9003 participants were enrolled and underwent randomization; 8855 (98.4%) received a trial vaccine and underwent an efficacy follow-up (the modified intention-to-treat population), and 8604 (95.6%) completed the per-protocol follow-up (the modified per-protocol population). Among RIV4 recipients, the RT-PCR-confirmed influenza attack rate was 2.2% (96 cases among 4303 participants) in the modified per-protocol population and 2.2% (96 cases among 4427 participants) in the modified intention-to-treat population. Among IIV4 recipients, the attack rate was 3.2% (138 cases among 4301 participants) in the modified per-protocol population and 3.1% (138 cases among 4428 participants) in the modified intention-to-treat population. A total of 181 cases of influenza A/H3N2, 47 cases of influenza B, and 6 cases of nonsubtypeable influenza A were detected. The probability of influenza-like illness was 30% lower with RIV4 than with IIV4 (95% confidence interval, 10 to 47; P=0.006) and satisfied prespecified criteria for the primary noninferiority analysis and an exploratory superiority analysis of RIV4 over IIV4. The safety profiles of the vaccines were similar. Conclusions RIV4 provided better protection than standard-dose IIV4 against confirmed influenza-like illness among older adults. (Funded by Protein Sciences; number, NCT02285998 .).

Concepts: Pneumonia, Vaccine, Vaccination, Influenza, Influenza pandemic, Influenza vaccine, Influenza A virus subtype H1N1, Influenza-like illness


Our main objective was to evaluate the ability of cranberry phytochemicals to modify immunity, specifically gammadelta-T cell proliferation, after daily consumption of a cranberry beverage, and its effect on health outcomes related to cold and influenza symptoms.

Concepts: Bacteria, Influenza, Fatigue, Polyphenol antioxidant, Common cold, Influenza-like illness, Rhinovirus, Nasal congestion


As compared with a standard-dose vaccine, a high-dose, trivalent, inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV3-HD) improves antibody responses to influenza among adults 65 years of age or older. This study evaluated whether IIV3-HD also improves protection against laboratory-confirmed influenza illness.

Concepts: Antibody, Pneumonia, Vaccine, Influenza, Ageing, Influenza vaccine, Influenza-like illness


In Spain, the influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) was estimated in the last four seasons using the observational study cycEVA conducted in the frame of the existing Spanish Influenza Sentinel Surveillance System. To estimate influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) against medically attended, laboratory-confirmed influenza-like illness (ILI) among the target groups for vaccination in Spain in the 2011–2012 season. We also studied influenza VE in the early (weeks 52/2011-7/2012) and late (weeks 8-14/2012) phases of the epidemic and according to time since vaccination.

Concepts: Immune system, Infectious disease, Statistics, Vaccine, Vaccination, Influenza, Influenza vaccine, Influenza-like illness


Oscillococcinum is an alternative medicine prepared by serial dilution of wild duck heart and liver extracts. This preparation has been labelled as a ‘non drowsy, homoeopathic medicine’ that ‘reduces the duration and severity of flu and flu-like symptoms’. Clinical evidence exists to support this claim and the product has not previously been reported to cause any serious adverse drug reactions. We bring to light, however, a case of angioedema in our patient who was using oscillococcinum for flu-like symptoms. Consumers must therefore exercise caution at the outset of allergy symptoms.

Concepts: Evidence-based medicine, Avicenna, Allergy, Adverse drug reaction, Alternative medicine, Common cold, Influenza-like illness, Homeopathy


Background. No studies have examined the effectiveness of influenza vaccine against ICU admission associated with influenza virus infection among children.Methods. In 2010-11 and 2011-12, children aged 6 months to 17 years admitted to 21 US pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) with acute severe respiratory illness and testing positive for influenza were enrolled as cases; children who tested negative were PICU controls. Community controls were children without an influenza-related hospitalization, matched to cases by comorbidities and geographic region. Vaccine effectiveness was estimated with logistic regression models.Results. We analyzed data from 44 cases, 172 PICU controls, and 93 community controls. Eighteen percent of cases, 31% of PICU controls, and 51% of community controls were fully vaccinated. Compared to unvaccinated children, children who were fully vaccinated were 74% (95% CI, 19 to 91%) or 82% (95% CI, 23 to 96%) less likely to be admitted to a PICU for influenza compared to PICU controls or community controls, respectively. Receipt of one dose of vaccine among children for whom two doses were recommended was not protective.Conclusion. During the 2010-11 and 2011-12 US influenza seasons, influenza vaccination was associated with a three-quarters reduction in the risk of life-threatening influenza illness in children.

Concepts: Virus, Vaccine, Vaccination, Influenza, Influenza vaccine, Influenza-like illness


Asthma exacerbations exhibit a consistent annual pattern, closely mirroring the school calendar. Although respiratory viruses-the “common cold” viruses-are implicated as a principal cause, there is little evidence to link viral prevalence to seasonal differences in risk. We jointly fit a common cold transmission model and a model of biological and environmental exacerbation triggers to estimate effects on hospitalization risk. Asthma hospitalization rate, influenza prevalence, and air quality measures are available, but common cold circulation is not; therefore, we generate estimates of viral prevalence using a transmission model. Our deterministic multivirus transmission model includes transmission rates that vary when school is closed. We jointly fit the two models to 7 y of daily asthma hospitalizations in adults and children (66,000 events) in eight metropolitan areas. For children, we find that daily viral prevalence is the strongest predictor of asthma hospitalizations, with transmission reduced by 45% (95% credible interval =41-49%) during school closures. We detect a transient period of nonspecific immunity between infections lasting 19 (17-21) d. For adults, hospitalizations are more variable, with influenza driving wintertime peaks. Neither particulate matter nor ozone was an important predictor, perhaps because of the large geographic area of the populations. The school calendar clearly and predictably drives seasonal variation in common cold prevalence, which results in the “back-to-school” asthma exacerbation pattern seen in children and indirectly contributes to exacerbation risk in adults. This study provides a framework for anticipating the seasonal dynamics of common colds and the associated risks for asthmatics.

Concepts: Immune system, Asthma, Influenza, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Paracetamol, Common cold, Influenza-like illness, Rhinovirus


This study aimed to identify associations between GP patient’s knowledge about the spectrum of effectiveness of antibiotics and the probability of vaccination against influenza. The underlying hypothesis was that individuals with an understanding that antibiotics are ineffective against viruses, common colds, and flu were more likely to be vaccinated than persons lacking this knowledge.

Concepts: Virus, Vaccine, Vaccination, Antiviral drug, Influenza, Influenza vaccine, Common cold, Influenza-like illness