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First childhood flu might determine the intensity of its influence later in life

ANI | Updated: Feb 06, 2020 09:09 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Feb 6 (ANI): Flu during childhood plays a pivotal role in deciding the immunity system against similar illness later in life.
Scientists from UCLA and the University of Arizona have found that people's ability to fight off the flu virus is determined not only by the subtypes of flu they have had throughout their lives but also by the sequence in which they have been infected by the viruses. Their study is published in the open-access journal PLoS Pathogens.
The research offers an explanation for why some people fare much worse than others when infected with the same strain of the flu virus, and the findings could help inform strategies for minimising the effects of the seasonal flu.
In addition, UCLA scientists, including Professor James Lloyd-Smith, who also was a senior author of the PLoS Pathogens research, recently completed a study that analyzes travel-related screening for the new novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV.
The researchers report that screening travellers are not very effective for the 2019 coronavirus -- that it will catch less than half of the infected travellers, on average -- and that most infected travellers are undetectable, meaning that they have no symptoms yet, and are unaware that they have been exposed. So stopping the spread of the virus is not a matter of just enhancing screening methods at airports and other travel hubs.
One major concern, Lloyd-Smith said, is that other countries, especially developing nations, lack the infrastructure and resources for those measures, and are therefore vulnerable to importing the disease.
"Much of the public health world is very concerned about the virus being introduced into Africa or India, where large populations exist does not have access to advanced medical care," he said. (ANI)

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