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Flu News Day, 6/14/2022

Read the latest on influenza vaccines and upcoming funding opportunities in this week’s roundup.

June 2022

It's almost summer, and flu is still spreading nationwide

Despite the traditional “flu season” ending months ago, influenza infections continue to rise in the United States, with positive influenza tests surpassing positive COVID tests 17% to 4% in the University of New Mexico Health Sciences system. According to Lynnette Brammer, head of CDC’s domestic influenza surveillance team, this is the first time that a spike in influenza cases has been reported this late in the season since the early 1980s. While infection rates are lower than pre-pandemic levels, the rising number of cases highlights the unpredictability of influenza infections as COVID-19 preventative measures wane. Learn more about the ongoing need for respiratory virus testing here.

Read the full article here
May 2022

What if the flu were treated more like COVID, not the other way round?: A post-pandemic thought experiment

While some hope that COVID-19 becomes “just like the flu”, in practice this translates to a reeled-in approach that sees “a greater willingness to accept infections and deaths.” Instead, the COVID-19 pandemic could be an opportunity to approach all endemic diseases differently, including influenza. Robust surveillance, rapid and at-home testing capabilities, expanded adult immunizations and improved ventilation systems are just some of the interventions implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic that could mitigate influenza and, in turn, prevent thousands of future infections, hospitalizations and deaths each year. Read more about these preventative measures and the annual burden of influenza here.

Read the full article here
May 2022

Sharper eyes, and more of them: Dr Fabian Leendertz’s ‘One Health’ institute fixes its gaze on prevention

Partnering with local communities, research groups and physicians, the Helmholtz Institute for One Health (HIOH) is working to improve global zoonotic data collection and prevent disease. By observing animal health and working with those living near these animals, the HIOH has helped control and mitigate outbreaks. Read the article in Gavi’s VaccinesWork to learn more about the impact of HIOH from its founding president, Dr. Fabian Leendertz.

Read the full article here
May 2022

Dissecting Human and Influenza Virus Interaction with qFRET Technology

New undergraduate research from the University of California, Riverside uses quantitative Förster resonance energy transfer imaging to show a direct interaction of human proteins with influenza B protein. This research reveals important information about the viral infection process to inform the development of new therapeutics against influenza. Read more about this research by students Chuchu Liu and Runrui Dang, and their faculty mentor Dr. Jiayu Liao.

Read the full article here

Funding Opportunities & Announcements

  • Zoonotic Disease Initiative [Discretionary Grant]                                        Fish and Wildlife Service / April 13, 2022 / June 27, 2022Apply Here

  • Planning Grant for Global Infectious Disease Research Training Program [Discretionary Grant]                                                                                NIH /January 8, 2021 / October 28, 2022                           Apply Here

  • Small Awards to Encourage Open Science Practices in Influenza Research [Award]                                                                                                          Flu Lab / Now Accepting Applications                               Apply Here

  • Wellcome Discovery Award [Grant]                                                          Wellcome / Open now / July 26, 2022                                Apply Here