Computer model uses virus ‘appearance’ to better predict winter flu strains

Combining genetic and experimental data into models about the influenza virus can help predict more accurately which strains will be most common during the next winter, says a study published recently in eLife.

The models could make the design of flu vaccines more accurate, providing fuller protection against a virus that causes around half a million deaths each year globally.

Vaccines are the best protection we have against the flu. But the virus changes its appearance to our immune system every year, requiring researchers to update the vaccine to match. Since a new vaccine takes almost a year to make, flu researchers must predict which flu viruses look the most like the viruses of the future.

The gold-standard ways of studying influenza involve laboratory experiments looking at a key molecule that coats the virus called haemagglutinin. But these methods are labour-intensive and take a long time. Researchers have focused

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Nebraska Medicine computer issues continue into fourth day | Local News

The “security incident” that shut down information technology systems at Nebraska Medicine early Sunday continued into its fourth day Wednesday.

The computer network outage has led to the postponement of patient appointments this week and required staffers in the system’s hospitals and clinics to chart by hand. One patient’s appointment scheduled for Friday already has been canceled.

An Omaha mom arrived with her son at a University of Nebraska Medical Center pediatric dental clinic Wednesday only to be told the system was down.

Alexie Herrmann said she was frustrated because she had taken her son out of his first day of in-person school for the appointment. He had not been seen in the dental clinic for almost a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I am definitely frustrated, and a little concerned, because they didn’t seem (to know) much of what’s going on,” she said.

A health system spokesman said

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