Only effective vaccines can protect us from respiratory viruses because we’re us

As winter wraps up in Australia, it’s become quite clear that – barring a very unusual late burst of activity – the 2018 influenza (flu) season has passed Australia by with Read More …

Flu is giving Australia a breather….

August is the traditional Australian peak influenza (flu) month. The peak can move around a bit but it usually flu virus party time, followed in size by September. We’re two-thirds of Read More …

Influenza vaccines do have an effect and we need to do more to understand it

Sometimes it’s hard to convey complex issues in a short-form article written for a general public audience. Other times, stories start off with an overly-simplified title they never recover from. Occasionally they lack any Read More …

Queensland influenza keeping it cool….

This week’s influenza (flu) data from Queensland’s Department of Health suggest that the virus is toying with Queenslanders – and much of Australia – this season. The total number of Read More …

Influenza virus haemagglutination: a sticky technique that does a lot of lifting

Haemagglutination (hemagglutination if you’re from the US) is the sticking (-agglutination) together of red blood cells (RBCs). Haem is the iron-containing, oxygen-transporting portion of haemoglobin, a molecule found in RBCs. This laboratory Read More …

Reporting flu – tell the story don’t create fear…

“Flu cases jump by 256% in just five years” screams a newspaper headline from the Daily Mercury, a paywalled News Corp publication. It sure seems like scary stuff doesn’t it? Read More …

Flu vaccination and effective communication…

A brief article about influenza (flu) vaccination appeared in the Conversation on Tuesday night. The piece, entitled “The flu vaccine is being oversold – it’s not that effective“, states that we Read More …

The forgotten benefits of the flu vaccine…

A…surprising…article about influenza (flu) vaccination appeared in the Conversation today. The piece, entitled “The flu vaccine is being oversold – it’s not that effective“, tells us that we are being given Read More …

Is increased testing at the root of Australia’s biggest ever first quarter of Flu cases…?

I’ve seen some media reporting an “early start to the flu season”. Is this true? The short answer is – I don’t know. Let’s explore why I can’t answer my Read More …

Flu vaccines and children: coming free to most Australian States and Territories in 2018

UPDATE #2. Back in October 2017, Queensland Health, Queensland Government (Australia) held a summit following on from our horrendous year of influenza.[1] One of the announcements associated with that summit Read More …