Research on how flu drug works may reveal how to outsmart variants

Researcher sees parallels in the challenges of developing antiviral drugs for respiratory infections caused by influenza and coronaviruses

Research on how flu drug works may reveal how to outsmart variantsA University of Alberta laboratory has uncovered the mechanism of action for a recently approved influenza drug in newly published research. The scientists discovered that the drug baloxavir marboxil binds highly efficiently to an enzyme that is key to how the influenza virus replicates inside an infected patient. They also showed how a mutation of…

U of A’s Butterdome to serve as AHS alternate care centre

Athletic facility could provide space for at least 100 beds during COVID-19 pandemic if needed

U of A’s Butterdome to serve as AHS alternate care centreThe University of Alberta’s Butterdome has once again been seconded into Alberta’s fight against COVID-19. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, recently announced that Alberta Health Services (AHS) is working with the Red Cross to transform the venerable U of A track and field facility into an alternate care centre should the need…

Some vaccines should be mandatory but not COVID-19: expert

U of A health law professor Ubaka Ogbogu advises that policy-makers focus on clear information and ensuring equitable access to vaccines

Some vaccines should be mandatory but not COVID-19: expertCanada should have a mandatory vaccination policy for childhood infectious diseases where vaccines are freely available, but not for influenza or COVID-19, according to a University of Alberta health law expert. “I still encourage vaccination,” said Ubaka Ogbogu, a professor in the faculties of law and pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences. “There’s no one-size-fits-all vaccination policy, and policy-makers have to…

Twenty per cent hike in flu vaccinations ambitious but attainable

U of A professor says COVID-19 crisis has provided much-needed public education in how vaccines can prevent deadly viruses

Twenty per cent hike in flu vaccinations ambitious but attainableA pharmacy researcher predicts more of us will roll up our sleeves for the influenza vaccine this fall thanks to the crash course we’ve all had recently on viruses and how to prevent them. “Because of COVID-19, people are becoming a lot more aware of how susceptible they are to viruses and virus-caused infections, especially…

Flu deaths rise when cities get pro sports teams: study

New research has implications for reopening arenas to fans during COVID-19 pandemic

Flu deaths rise when cities get pro sports teams: studyWhen one of the big four professional sports leagues in North America expands into a new market, it brings with it an increase in influenza-related deaths, according to a sport management researcher looking to inform the conversation around getting sports fans back in stands in the midst of a pandemic. “We wanted to find out…

Our pandemic response seems like a guessing game

From suspect modelling to poor stockpiling to a lack of perspective on historic events, we failed to be ready for COVID-19

Our pandemic response seems like a guessing gameBy Deborah Prabhu and Allan Bonner Where will the COVID-19 pandemic fit into history? What will be the lessons learned, if any? Our guess is we’re learning how little we did to prepare and how much we’re guessing in response as we go along. We had three pandemics in the 20th century. The Spanish Flu…

Past becomes present for history grad who studied Spanish flu

Why the COVID-19 pandemic feels familiar to Suzanna Wagner, who wrote her thesis on Canadian nurses in the First World War

Past becomes present for history grad who studied Spanish fluDefending her master’s thesis just two days before COVID-19 forced the University of Alberta to close was strange enough. Receiving a call from the Edmonton Journal for her take on the pandemic was downright surreal. “It’s really odd as a historian to suddenly have people in the current media asking, ‘Tell us what happened in the past,’” said…

Use science, not speculation, to save seniors and businesses

Locking down society, and business, makes no sense in the battle against COVID-19. It's time to take a more measured approach

Use science, not speculation, to save seniors and businessesChris Hadfield has posted a video on YouTube entitled An Astronaut’s Guide to Self Isolation, in which he offers some valuable advice. The Canadian pilot and astronaut spent 166 days in the International Space Station in isolation. He says it’s an extremely dangerous environment where astronauts thrive in finding ways to be productive. The number…

COVID-19’s elder virus brother, the Spanish flu

An estimated 500 million people contracted the Spanish flu, and the death toll was between 17 million and 50 million

COVID-19’s elder virus brother, the Spanish fluAs our world deals with the coronavirus pandemic, a couple of interesting personal stories came out of Europe on March 29. The Guardian reported that Hilda Churchill, a 108-year-old woman in Salford, England, became (quite likely) the oldest British person to die from COVID-19 symptoms. And Turkey’s Anadolu Agency and Fox News reported that a…