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Child Nasal Swab Tests Conducted by Parent Yield Accurate Results: Study

Parent-collected nasal swab samples from kids could be as good at detecting respiratory infections such as COVID-19 as those taken by nurses, but that's not the case with saliva samples, British researchers say.

Respiratory infections such as colds and flu are among the most common illnesses in kids treated by primary care doctors. COVID-19 is also a respiratory infection.

"Our...

Pandemic Puts 'Outdated' Infection Control Practices Under Scrutiny

The COVID-19 pandemic has offered some lessons on respiratory disease transmission, and now a new review suggests that hospitals could use those insights to create even smarter infection-control policies.

The review, published Nov. 9 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, suggests that some longstanding infection-control tactics at hospitals are "outdated."

And certain changes, like gr...

Zinc Might Help Shorten Your Cold or Flu, Study Finds

Many people pop a zinc supplement at the first sign of a cold, and there's new evidence supporting the habit.

Australian researchers found that the supplements appear to help shorten respiratory tract infections, such as colds, flu, sinusitis and pneumonia.

Many over-the-counter cold and cough remedies offer only "marginal benefits," the researchers noted, making "zinc a viable 'na...

Social Distancing Kept Kids From Getting Flu, RSV

Social distancing and mask mandates during the pandemic nearly eliminated cases of the flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) among children, a new study finds.

"Numbers don't lie. Face masking, and proper hygiene and isolation, can be effective means to protect the vulnerable groups, such as the elderly and young children, during the respiratory virus season," said study author Dr. Os...

Pre-Surgery COVID Precautions Tied to Worse, Not Better, Patient Outcomes

Surprisingly, patients who isolate before surgery to protect themselves from COVID-19 actually have a higher risk of lung complications after their operation than those who don't isolate, a new study reports.

The findings conflict with current guidelines that recommend isolation before surgery, researchers noted.

"Our evidence suggests that removing preoperative isolation strategies...

Troubling Rise Seen in Both COVID, RSV Cases Among Children

A rise in cases of a common childhood disease called respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is unfolding just as coronavirus infections are increasing among children.

RSV is a highly contagious, flu-like illness that causes symptoms such as runny nose, coughing, sneezing and fever, and is more likely to affect children and older adults, The New York Times reported.

There's been ...

As COVID Rules Ease, Common Colds Rebound Across America

Infectious disease expert Ravina Kullar's husband has a cold. So does her sister-in-law.

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Clinic's waiting rooms are becoming much more frequented by folks with coughs, sneezes and sniffles, said family medicine physician Dr. Neha Vyas.

These folks are part of a nationwide trend occurring as COVID-19 vaccinations rise, masks drop, protective restrictions lift...

Even Low Levels of Air Pollution Harm Heart, Lungs

Breathing in air that has even low levels of pollution poses a threat to older adults' heart and lungs, a new study warns.

Researchers analyzed medical records of more than 63 million Medicare patients from 2000 to 2016. They found that long-term exposure to low levels of air pollution could increase the risk of pneumonia, heart attack, stroke and the irregular heart rhythm known as atria...

High Blood Levels of Cadmium May Be Tied to Worse COVID-19

Old age and chronic health conditions aren't the only risk factors for serious COVID-19 infection. Researchers say people with high levels of the heavy metal cadmium may also have higher odds of severe disease during the pandemic.

Cadmium is found in cigarettes and in contaminated vegetables. Previous research has shown that long-term exposure to cadmium, even at low levels, may weak...

Could the Flu Shot Lower Your Risk for Alzheimer's?

Getting vaccinated to protect against pneumonia and flu may offer an unexpected benefit -- a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease, new research suggests.

Two new studies being presented Monday at this summer's virtual Alzheimer's Association International Conference found a lower incidence of Alzheimer's in people who got flu and pneumonia vaccines. A third study underscored the importa...

Vaping-Related Lung Injuries Still Happening -- And May Look Like COVID-19

Reports of serious, even deadly, vaping-linked lung injuries dominated the headlines late last year, then COVID-19 took over the news.

But those lung injuries haven't gone away, and signs of e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) can look a lot like a COVID-19 infection, federal and state health officials warn.

Eight cases of EVALI were reported i...

About 1 in 15 Parents 'Hesitant' About Child Vaccines: Survey

One-quarter of U.S. parents are hesitant about seasonal flu shots for their kids, and roughly 1 in 15 feel the same way about routine childhood vaccinations, a nationwide study finds.

The issue has gained added urgency this year, as fears around coronavirus keep many parents from bringing their kids to the doctor -- including routine vaccinations.

Twelve percent of the nearl...

COVID-19 Damages Lungs Differently From the Flu: Study

New research reveals that COVID-19 attacks the lungs in a far different manner from the flu.

Unlike most respiratory diseases, significant impacts on blood vessels were seen in the lungs of seven COVID-19 patients. The lung tissue of those patients was compared to lung tissue from seven people who died of pneumonia caused by the flu.

There was evidence that COVID-19 attacks ...

Scientists Design Protective Respirator for Health Care Workers

THURSDAY, April 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- With protective gear in short supply, Duke University researchers say they've designed a much-needed respirator for health care workers battling COVID-19.

The respirator was created by a medical and engineering team at the university and is being used by Duke Health doctors treating patients with suspected cases of COVID-19.

The ...

Cheap, Effective Ventilator Made From Ambulance 'Resuscitation Bags'

With a sudden need for more ventilators due to the coronavirus pandemic, researchers have been busy trying to come up with alternatives to a standard ventilator.

Engineers from Georgia Tech and Emory University in Atlanta think they may have developed such a device. They've created a simple, low-cost ventilator that builds on the widely used resuscitation bags found in ambulances and...

FDA OKs Generic Asthma Inhaler in Face of Coronavirus-Related Shortages

The first generic albuterol inhaler in the United States was approved Wednesday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in response to inhaler shortages caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The inhalers are widely used by people with asthma, but it's become more difficult to get them because they're being used to treat patients with COVID-19.

"The FDA recognizes the increas...

With 3D Printer, N.Y. Hospital Converts Sleep Apnea Machines Into Ventilators

As COVID-19 pushes American hospitals to the breaking point, intensive care units are finding creative ways to deal with a looming shortage of lifesaving mechanical ventilators.

New York-Presbyterian Hospital last week began splitting single-use ventilators into machines that can serve two patients at a time. Now another New York-based hospital system, Northwell Health, has stepped up...

Got Flu? Deal Quickly With Complications

Fighting the flu can be an unpleasant experience -- but the misery may not stop there.

When you have the flu, your immune system is under attack, making complications common. Other infections can weasel their way into your body, according to Libby Richards, an associate professor at Purdue University's School of Nursing in West Lafayette, Ind.

Common complications include ...

Your Game Plan for Keeping 'Super Bowl Flu' at Bay

Don't get tackled by the flu if you go to a Super Bowl party this weekend.

Some simple precautions can protect you and others, said Libby Richards, an associate professor who specializes in public health at Purdue University School of Nursing in West Lafayette, Ind.

"If you are sick or a family member or friend you are planning on visiting for a Super Bowl gathering is sick ...

Why Colds and Flu Seldom Strike at Same Time

If you already have a cold, you're less likely to get the flu, and vice versa, a large new study shows.

That finding could lead to improved prediction of cold and flu outbreaks as well as new ways to control the diseases' spread, British researchers said.

While this interaction between colds and the flu has been observed, this is the first study large enough to provide stron...

Additives to E-Cigarettes May Be Upping Health Dangers

Natural compounds added to marijuana-derived vaping liquid produce toxic chemicals in the vapor that users inhale, a new lab study reports.

The compounds, known as terpenes, are added into pure THC distillations to dilute the product and provide the vapor with aroma and taste, said senior researcher Robert Strongin, a professor of organic chemistry at Portland State University in Ore...

Many Health Care Workers With Flu, Colds Still Go to Work: Study

Many health care workers are still on the job even if they have symptoms of a cold, flu or other respiratory infection, putting patients and coworkers at risk, a new study finds.

It included more than 2,700 health care workers at nine Canadian hospitals who completed online diaries whenever they had symptoms of a respiratory infection.

Half reported an acute respiratory vira...

Flu May Be a Factor in Many Kidney Failure Deaths

Seasonal flu and other respiratory infections may be especially dangerous for kidney failure patients, researchers say.

A new study found that influenza-like illnesses likely contribute to more than 1,000 deaths among kidney failure patients in the United States each year. These illnesses include potentially serious respiratory tract infections caused by flu and other viruses.

...

How Getting a Flu Shot Could Save Your Life

It's not too late to get your flu shot, which can protect you in ways that may surprise you.

The flu vaccine can be a lifesaver for people with heart disease, according to infectious disease specialist Dr. Michael Chang, assistant professor of pediatrics at University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

"Previous studies have shown influenza vaccination could reduce d...