Getting a flu shot this fall as the pandemic rages could literally save your life

ng a flushot large
Credit: Chronicle Herald

Uncertainty looms over flu season every year, but this time there are even more unknowns than usual — from precisely what strains will be circulating to how the virus will interact with Covid-19 to whether our new pandemic habits will impact its spread. “This year, in particular, we don’t know what to expect,” says Stacey Schultz-Cherry, an influenza researcher at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Early in the year, scientists start looking at what strains of influenza are circulating around the world, especially south of the equator, just before their full flu season starts. But this year, we are largely missing this crucial piece to the puzzle because the Southern Hemisphere has seen very little flu.

The paucity of flu cases in the Southern Hemisphere this year also means that we haven’t been able to learn much about how Covid-19 interacts with influenza.

Related article:  Will we see illegal CRISPR IVF clinics in the US? Experts weigh in

Some case reports from early in the pandemic, when the flu was still circulating in China over the winter, showed that some people did have simultaneous infections.

Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

“We really don’t know what a co-infection would look like,” Schultz-Cherry says. But, she says, “I wouldn’t want to have the lungs that would find that out.” She does hypothesize that it would be “a more significant infection” — especially in those at a higher risk for severe Covid-19 and for severe flu illness.

Read the original post

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped

Video: We can ‘finally’ grow GMOs—Nigerian farmer explains why developing countries need biotech crops

Nigerian farmer Patience Koku discusses the GMO crop trials she is conducting on her farm, and why growers can "rise ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
breastfeeding bed x facebook x

Infographic: We know breastfeeding helps children. Now we know it helps mothers too

When a woman becomes pregnant, her risk of type 2 diabetes increases for the rest of her life, perhaps because ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend