Zinc supplements boost immunity in older adults

The immune system weakens as the body ages, making older adults more susceptible to infections. Low levels of zinc impair immunity, particularly in older adults. A research team set out to determine if it was feasible to increase serum zinc concentrations in older adults in nursing homes who were zinc-deficient. “Our previous work showed that … Read more

E-cigarettes may boost virulence of drug-resistant pathogens

E-cigarettes may boost resistance of drug-resistant pathogens – Despite being touted by their manufacturers as a healthy alternative to cigarettes, e-cigarettes appear in a laboratory study to increase the virulence of drug- resistant and potentially life-threatening bacteria, while decreasing the ability of human cells to kill these bacteria.

Actual pandemic flu death toll was much higher in 2009

2009 Pandemic Flu Death Toll Much Higher Than Official Worldwide Estimates – A research team consisting of more than 60 collaborators in 26 countries has estimated the global death toll from the 2009 outbreak of the H1N1 virus to be 10 times higher than the World Health Organization’s count, which was based on laboratory-confirmed cases of this flu.

Tamiflu drug resistance in H7N9 flu cases raises concern

Tamiflu Resistance Confirmed in H7N9 Flu Cases — Drug resistance in new China bird flu raises concern – Resistance easily develops when patients take antiviral drugs such as oseltamivir (tamiflu) for treating h7n9 influenza infections. Researcher’s analysis, which includes 14 patients who were hospitalized in Shanghai within 2 days of starting therapy with Tamiflu, appears in The Lancet.

Flu season tough for older people this year in US

Flu Season ‘Bad One for the Elderly,’ CDC Says — US flu epidemic – 29 children dead – An unusually severe flu season is exacting a heavy toll on older people in New York and across USA. This year’s edition of influenza is hitting the elderly hard, putting many in hospitals, even as overall flu activity is showing signs of slowing down.

High blood pressure risk rising in US kids

More hospitalizations, higher charges, for kids with high blood pressure – Hospitalizations for children with high blood pressure and related charges dramatically increased during 10 years ending in 2006, according to a study published in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension. This nationally-based study is the first in which researchers examined hypertension hospitalizations in children.

Prevnar 13 vaccine approved for people ages 50 and older

FDA expands use of Prevnar 13 vaccine for people ages 50 and older – Prevnar 13, a pneumonia vaccine, is approved for people ages 50 years and older to prevent pneumonia and invasive disease caused by the bacterium, Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Cholesterol lowering drugs statins may help hospitalized influenza patients

Statins may reduce mortality in patients hospitalized with influenza – Taking Statins May Help Flu patients – The two main ways to prevent and control influenza today are annual immunization and antiviral drugs. A team of investigators has found that statins, cholesterol-lowering drugs, may offer an additional treatment to complement these approaches and reduce mortality among patients hospitalized with influenza.

Antiretrovirals significantly reduces HIV transmission to partners

Treating HIV-infected people with antiretrovirals significantly reduces transmission to partners — Findings result from NIH-funded international study – Men and women infected with HIV reduced the risk of transmitting the virus to their sexual partners by taking oral antiretroviral medicines when their immune systems were relatively healthy, according to findings from a large-scale clinical study.

Vitamin D deficiency in pneumonia patients risky

Vitamin D deficiency in pneumonia patients associated with increased mortality – A new study published in the journal Respirology reveals that adult patients admitted to the hospital with pneumonia are more likely to die if they have Vitamin D deficiency.

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