COVID-19 Pandemic Tied to Historically Low Influenza Cases, Leading to Uncertainty about Next Winter’s Flu Vaccine

Clinical laboratories may see increase in flu and COVID-19 specimen processing as people return to pre-pandemic social behaviors, experts predict While SARS-CoV-2 infections continue to ravage many parts of the world, influenza (flu) cases in North America have hit a historic low. As winter approached last year, infectious disease experts warned of a “twindemic” in which the COVID-19 outbreak would combine with seasonal influenza to overwhelm the healthcare system. But this did not happen, and...

Anticipated Influenza/SARS-CoV-2 “Twindemic” Has Not Developed, Says CDC, Much to the Relief of the Nation’s Medical Laboratories

The remarkably low number of influenza diagnoses makes it possible for clinical laboratories to stay focused on COVID-19 One positive note for clinical laboratories this winter is the fact that the number of biological samples being submitted for influenza (flu) testing have dropped significantly. This has given medical laboratories more resources for processing COVID-19 tests. Dark Daily’s sister publication The Dark Report covered this phenomenon in “Surprise! Many Fewer Cases of Flu in Us,...

Where Did all the Antibodies Go? Emory University’s Vaccine Center Studies Bone Marrow to Find Out Why Influenza Vaccines are Short-Lived

Pathologists and clinical laboratory scientists know that influenza vaccines typically produce short-lived protection and researchers have new clues as to why this is true With so much interest in development of a COVID-19 vaccine, findings by researchers at Atlanta’s Emory Vaccine Center into why the vaccine for influenza (Flu) is so short-lived offer a new window on how the body’s immune system responds to invading viruses and what happens to the immunity over time. Because the autumn...

University of Alberta Researchers Develop Surgical Mask That Traps and Kills Infectious Viruses; Protects Hospital Workers and Clinical Laboratory Technicians from Deadly Diseases

As standard masks are used they collect exhaled airborne pathogens that remain living in the masks’ fibers, rendering them infectious when handled Surgical-style facial masks harbor a secret—viruses that could be infectious to the people wearing them. However, masks can become effective virus killers as well. At least that’s what researchers at the University of Alberta (UAlberta) in Edmonton, Canada, have concluded. If true, such a re-engineered mask could protect clinical laboratory workers...

Flu Season Brings Shut Down of Elective Surgeries and Procedures in United Kingdom’s National Health Service Hospitals

Mounting financial and patient-care problems in UK show NHS may not provide a quality blueprint for fixing US healthcare system flaws Patients scheduled for elective surgeries—such as hip replacements or penciled in for routine outpatient appointments—have been turned away this winter from National Health Service (NHS) hospitals as the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) public healthcare system suffers another care emergency. This latest crisis in the UK should provide further evidence to anatomic...
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