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Flu News Day, 6/28/2022

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

June 2022

Economic costs of severe seasonal influenza in Colombia, 2017–2019: A multi-center analysis

Assessing both medical and non-medical costs associated with influenza is important to increasing investment and strengthening prevention strategies, especially in low- and middle-income settings where a number of health priorities compete for limited resources. A team of researchers set out to estimate the economic burden of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) in lab-confirmed influenza patients in Columbia and found the cost to be approximately US$850 per patient—an amount that can “deeply effect the finances of homes” in Columbia. Researchers also found that the economic burden for influenza is higher in Columbia compared to countries such as Bangladesh and Kenya.  To learn the medical costs and out of pocket expenses for Columbian patients with SARI influenza, read the study here.

Read the full article here
June 2022

A Gull Flaps Its Wings and a Deadly Virus Explodes

Influenza H5N1 has killed more than 380,000 wild birds, infecting over 100 avian species, since October 2021. These species all have unique patterns of movement and spread the disease at different rates among different populations. Current funding for surveillance of H5N1 in these wild birds is limited, but better surveillance could help model, predict, and therefore prevent influenza’s spread. While experts emphasize that the threat to humans remains low, continued spread increases the risk of a potential spillover event. Read about the ongoing unprecedented outbreak of H5N1 in wild birds here.

Read the full article here
June 2022

Not Just for the Birds: Avian Influenza Is Also Felling Wild Mammals

Influenza H5N1, which has primarily spread among species of wild birds, has now been detected in wild mammals across North America, including foxes, bobcats, coyotes, skunks and others. As sustained mammal-to-mammal transmission has not been detected, the CDC advises that the risk to humans remains low. Still, scientists warn that as the virus infects additional hosts, it has more opportunities to evolve and potentially pose a greater threat to humans. As such, state officials are increasing testing of sick mammals for the virus. Learn more about the signs of mammalian influenza infection and the public’s role in reporting possible cases here.

Read the full article here
June 2022

Metal−Organic Coordination Polymer for Delivery of a Subunit Broadly Acting Influenza Vaccine

A new recombinant protein-based broadly acting influenza vaccine has induced antigen-specific humoral and cellular responses with low cytotoxicity. Typically, recombinant protein antigens lack the ability to activate a robust immune response. However, this research reports on the potency of zinc-carnosine (ZnCar) metal-organic coordination polymer for delivery of Computationally Optimized Broadly Reactive Antigen (COBRA) H1 hemagglutinin with cytosine-phosphate-guanine (CpG). Learn more about the future application of ZnCar to induce broad influenza protection when formulated with recombinant protein antigens.

Read the full article here

Funding Opportunities & Announcements

Wheels Up Accelerator [Program & Prize]                                                          BARDA / Open Now / June 30, 2022                                         Apply Here

Centre for Doctoral Training: environmental solutions to zoonoses [Grant]
NERC, BBSRC, MRC / June 23, 2022 /July 29, 2022             Apply Here

Postdoc Computational Bioinformatics (d/f/m) [Job]                                 Leibniz Institute of Virology / April 2022 / July 10, 2022  Apply Here

AAAS Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility [Prize]                  AAAS / April 15, 2022 / June 30, 2022                                        Apply Here

AAAS David and Betty Hamburg Award for Science Diplomacy [Prize]    AAAS / April 15, 2022 / June 30, 2022                                        Apply Here

Philip Hauge Ableson Prize [Prize]                                                                         AAAS / Open now / June 30, 2022                                             Apply Here