Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Medicine Science

New Study Finds Flu Virus "Paralyzes" Immune System 84

mmmscience writes with this excerpt from Examiner.com: "A study coming out of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has found that the influenza virus manages to dysregulate the immune system, allowing other infections to thrive in the body. This discovery, coming at an opportune time as the world battles the new H1N1 flu outbreak, may be the first step in understanding why the flu can cause such high mortality rates in normally healthy individuals."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

New Study Finds Flu Virus "Paralyzes" Immune System

Comments Filter:
  • by bigattichouse ( 527527 ) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @11:45AM (#27831793) Homepage
    Are there symbiotic relationships between the flu and pneumonia (or other) bacteria - where they travel together. This would allow the flu to break down the guard, bacteria to move in - and then both to be spread by the next sneeze or nose-wipe-doorhandle-grab.
  • by Chlorine Trifluoride ( 1517149 ) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @12:03PM (#27832091)
    Flu does hit them much harder, but the reason that the Spanish flu killed some many young, healthy people was because it launched a cytokine storm, something that was replicated in H5N1 (remember that?). So far, H1N1 does not seem to do this, although TFA suggests that it might.
  • by Hoyty1 ( 1502645 ) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @12:04PM (#27832117) Homepage Journal
    I always wondered why people who get the flu have such widely varying symptoms. This offers me a bit of incite, especially with my powers of wild speculation!

    I've never had a doctor specifically tell me I had the flu but being the average Joe that I am I'll believe just about anything someone tells me. As long as they do it with authority! So it always seemed strange to me that my "flus" have had ranges of the sniffles to constant vomiting and other such disgusting bodily functions. Maybe it's because the flu caused something else lurking about to gain a foothold and attack with the vigor of a cracked out wookie.
  • by Andy Dodd ( 701 ) <atd7@coTEArnell.edu minus caffeine> on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @12:09PM (#27832207) Homepage

    Actually the problem with the 1918 flu virus was that it had unusually high mortality rates for people with strong immune systems.

    The reasoning was that a lot of people died not from the infection itself, but from an *excessive immune response* (cytokine storm).

    The whole swine flu paranoia is getting out of hand, especially since so far the actual severity of the swine flu is nowhere near what people are making it out to be. I now have to eat offsite at work because all of the food that I like to eat has been pulled from the cafeteria (all self-serve foods have been pulled except prepackaged items, I almost always eat a build-your-own sandwich and a cookie).

    Funny thing is, as a Type I diabetic, who is at unusually high risk for problems if I catch influenza, I'm far more worried about the health effects of this damn menu change than the possibility I might catch H1N1.

  • by omris ( 1211900 ) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @12:18PM (#27832393)

    I would guess that it's more coincidence than symbiosis. Most of the things that an influenza virus would find helpful would also be helpful to, say, Streptococcus pneumoniae. Since most infectious organisms are vulnerable to similar immune system defenses, shutting them down just sort of accidentally helps out everyone.

    But you could make the argument that these organisms evolved similarities to take advantage of just such strategies. Chicken or egg and all that.

  • Re:Swine Flu BS (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @12:56PM (#27833101)

    You are correct of course, hence the "flamebait" rating on your comment. The TamiFlu stocks have an expiration date of 3 years and the date was coming up quickly for their current stocks (note: Obama is a stock holder). The gov't want to justify forced vaccinations and have been trying for many years now. Vaccination is one of the tools for their eugenics goals.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @04:30PM (#27837059)

    Or he meant what he wrote.


    motivate: give an incentive for action"

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=define%3A+incite&btnG=Google+Search&aq=f&oq= [google.com]

    As in: "This motivates me, especially with my powers of wild speculation!"

  • by vincecate ( 741268 ) on Tuesday May 05, 2009 @08:42PM (#27840373) Journal
    I am convinced that Vitamin D is important for resisting the flu. It is produced in your skin from sunlight. It is important for your immune system. During the winter most people don't get enough, which seems to be why the flu is more common then. Very young and very old people get even less sun than normal and are worse hit by the flu. The same flu virus is not nearly as deadly during the summer. The recommended daily allowance of Vitamin D was calculated to be enough keep people from getting rickets but is far below what your body will produce given 15 minute of sun. http://www.virologyj.com/content/5/1/29 [virologyj.com] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flu_season#Mechanism_for_seasonal_nature_of_influenza [wikipedia.org] (yes I added the Vitamin-D stuff but look at the links)

"Remember, extremism in the nondefense of moderation is not a virtue." -- Peter Neumann, about usenet