Did seasonal flu vaccines make swine flu worse?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Orna @ 9:25 pm

Canadians who got a seasonal flu shot in 2008 were substantially more likely to contract the H1N1 swine flu in 2009, scientists there have found.

In four new studies, researchers compared people who got the regular flu shot the prior year with those who didn’t, and then tracked the frequency of infection with the swine-flu virus. The studies found risk increased as much as 500 percent.

The study’s authors caution that the numbers show some relationship, but can’t definitely prove prior flu vaccinations were directly responsible for the increased incidence of swine flu. But the findings do raise questions about how flu strains interact, and the World Health Organization now recommends including swine flu in new seasonal flu vaccines.

untangling autism

Filed under: chronic disease,Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Orna @ 11:26 pm

Autism is in the news this week after the top-flight medical journal, The Lancet, retracted a pivotal research paper linking autism to vaccine preservative thimerosal. That study has been unsupported by subsequent research and epidemiology, and recently the study’s lead author was discovered to have had financial incentives for his findings. That leaves open the question of what is causing the huge rise in autism diagnoses, which now apply to 1 in 100 children in the US. Crunching the numbers, new research is finding hot spots of autism, suggesting environmental or social factors may be involved.

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