By: Terry Graedon February 27, 2017 7 Comments
    Will Vitamin D Supplements Really Protect You fr…

    Avoiding colds and flu is challenging. Physicians will tell you that vaccination is the only protection against influenza. Frequent hand washing is the other standard recommendation. Unfortunately, im…

    By: Joe Graedon February 16, 2017 10 Comments
    Is Vitamin D Good for Colds? Will it Battle the …

    Grandmothers in Scandinavia have been forcing children to swallow cod liver oil for hundreds of years. They knew it acted as a tonic in the winter to keep colds and other upper respiratory tract infec…

    By: Terry Graedon January 16, 2017 2 Comments
    Tamiflu to Help You Recover from the Flu

    When flu season arrives each year, people start to pay extra attention to hand hygiene and getting enough sleep. Those tactics can be helpful, but they are far from perfect for preventing an influenza…

    By: Terry Graedon November 22, 2016 4 Comments
    Are You Vulnerable to This Year’s Flu?

    Flu season is starting slowly this year, and we don't yet know how it will play out. What strains will be most prominent in this year's flu? Before long, however, people will probably be suffering fev…

    By: Terry Graedon October 24, 2016 36 Comments
    Did a Flu Shot Cause Severe Shoulder Pain?

    Before flu season starts, we are all urged to be vaccinated against influenza. The flu shot is not supposed to have serious side effects, and it is seen as the best public health measure for protectin…

    By: Joe Graedon September 8, 2016 6 Comments
    What Happened to the FluMist Nasal Spray Vaccine…

    Now that it is almost fall, it is time to start thinking about flu shots. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, all children older than six months of age should get shots this year and bypa…

    By: Terry Graedon February 1, 2016 6 Comments
    Do You Have to Finish All Your Tamiflu?

    The focus on vaccines to prevent influenza sometimes overshadows antiviral drug treatment such as Tamiflu. Antivirals have actually been available for decades, but they haven't had much press. Part …

    By: Terry Graedon December 17, 2015 0 Comments
    Study Says Acetaminophen Is No Good Against Flu

    Many over-the-counter cold and flu medicines contain acetaminophen, better known as the active ingredient in Tylenol. (In English-speaking countries outside North America, this medication is known as …

    By: Terry Graedon December 14, 2015 3 Comments
    Vicks on the Soles of the Feet Eased Horrible Co…

    In this season of colds and flu, a lot of people are troubled with persistent coughing. Although many expect that once the cold goes away, the cough will vanish as well, it can take several weeks long…

    By: Joe Graedon November 9, 2015 17 Comments
    Will the Flu Shot Work Better This Year or Will …

    The drumbeat from public health officials to "get your flu shot" is approaching fever pitch. That's because influenza season is right around the corner. With holiday travel only a few weeks away, it i…

    By: Joe Graedon October 29, 2015 6 Comments
    Do Statins Screw Up Flu Vaccine Effectiveness?

    Two articles in the Journal of Infectious Diseases suggest that statin-type cholesterol-lowering drugs may impair the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine. Impact of Statins on Influenza Vaccine Eff…

    By: Joe Graedon October 29, 2015 70 Comments
    Is My Lasting Shoulder Pain Due to the Flu Shot?

    It is hard for the FDA or the CDC to admit that there is ever a problem with the influenza vaccine. Every year about this time there is a huge campaign to encourage virtually every American to get a f…

    By: Joe Graedon October 22, 2015 5 Comments
    Flu Medicines Make Sense for People at High Risk…

    Flu season is right around the corner. Should you get your vaccine now? Flu Shots Have Been Disappointing: Most people are encouraged to get a flu shot to reduce their likelihood of developing influen…

    By: Joe Graedon September 14, 2015 269 Comments
    Why Does My Shoulder Still Hurt So Much After a …

    Last year we learned a new acronym from our readers: SIRVA. It stands for Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration. This is the first message we received: "It has been seven weeks since I had…

    By: Joe Graedon March 30, 2015 20 Comments
    Can Flu Shots Cause Long-Lasting Arm Pain?

    On December 27, 2014 we first heard about the possibility that a flu shot could lead to persistent arm pain. Don V. shared his experience with the relatively new "Quad" influenza vaccine. This quadriv…

    By: Joe Graedon February 9, 2015 6 Comments
    Why Don’t More Doctors Prescribe Pills for…

    From all indications, this year's flu shot was a big disappointment. It was not very effective at preventing influenza infections. But antiviral medications against flu viruses do work. Why have they …

    By: Joe Graedon January 1, 2015 5 Comments
    Flu at Epidemic Levels! What Should You Do?

    Have you noticed that friends, family and co-workers are sick? Perhaps you too have fallen prey to this year's influenza virus. Well, the CDC has just acknowledged that the country is in the midst of …

    By: Joe Graedon December 29, 2014 54 Comments
    The Inside Story of Tamiflu: Side Effects &…

    If you have been watching TV lately you may have seen a commercial for Tamiflu (oseltamivir). A very sick-looking man is seen creeping about in a very small house. He blows his nose with a teeny tissu…

    By: Joe Graedon December 29, 2014 2 Comments
    The Furor Over the Flu Shot Won’t Die Down

    The flu is back and the news is bad. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that its primary strategy, vaccination, may not work very well this year. Bad Guess Every year health off…

    By: Joe Graedon December 25, 2014 3 Comments
    Influenza Spreading Around the Country

    Reports from public health officials indicate that influenza is widespread around the country. The predominant virus causing illness is a variety of H3N2 that is not covered by the flu vaccine because…

    By: Joe Graedon December 25, 2014 1 Comments
    New Flu Drug Approved

    The FDA has just approved a new antiviral drug to treat influenza. Rapivab, also known as peramivir, is administered to adults in a single intravenous injection during the first 48 hours of flu sympto…

    By: Joe Graedon December 18, 2014 3 Comments
    This Year’s Flu May Be a Little Different

    The flu is making an appearance around the country, but in many cases it isn't behaving like the usual influenza. There are reports that people are ill with aches and fatigue. They lose their appetite…

    By: Joe Graedon December 11, 2014 0 Comments
    Flu Season Roars in Early

    The flu season has begun early this year, and it could be bad. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention prepare a map of flu prevalence each week. For last week, it showed widespread infections …

    By: Joe Graedon December 11, 2014 0 Comments
    This Year, Flu Shot Is Less Than Perfect

    Public health officials are urging everyone to get their flu shots this year, but they admit that the H3N2 virus has mutated. That means the vaccine will offer significantly less protection against th…

    By: Terry Graedon September 11, 2014 0 Comments
    New Influenza Medicine Shortens Illness

    Influenza viruses have been notoriously hard to treat. Vaccines are far from foolproof. That's because the viruses often mutate and even when there is a good match between the flu shot and the circula…

    By: Terry Graedon April 10, 2014 0 Comments
    Complete Data on Antiviral Flu Medicines Indicat…

    The Cochrane Collaboration, a network of independent scientists who evaluate medical interventions using strict objective criteria, has raised questions about the effectiveness of the antiviral flu me…

    By: Terry Graedon March 20, 2014 1 Comments
    Tamiflu Saved Lives in Swine Flu Epidemic

    A look back at the 2009 to 2010 swine flu epidemic has revealed some interesting data regarding the use of the antiviral drug Tamiflu, known generically as oseltamivir. Researchers evaluated data from…

    By: Terry Graedon February 17, 2014 5 Comments
    Tamiflu Fights Flu Symptoms Fast

    Q. I got the flu a few years ago and took Tamiflu one day after my symptoms began. I improved quickly and dramatically, with all my symptoms more or less non-existent within two days of starting the m…

    By: Terry Graedon January 23, 2014 3 Comments
    Reducing Fever May Help Spread Flu

    Taking popular fever-reducing drugs (such as acetaminophen, aspirin or ibuprofen) for the flu may increase the spread of the virus. A new study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B used…

    By: Joe Graedon January 6, 2014 39 Comments
    The Flu is Back: What’s The Inside Story o…

    Here we go again with scary flu stories. Open up a newspaper or turn on the evening news, and you are likely see reports of worrisome influenza outbreaks all across the nation. Here are just a few exa…

    By: Terry Graedon December 15, 2013 18 Comments
    Could Vitamin D Keep You Healthy This Winter?

    Despite increasing scientific scrutiny of the benefits of vitamin D, there is still mystery and confusion about this essential nutrient. Part of the complexity is due to the fact that vitamin D is not…

    By: Joe Graedon November 27, 2013 12 Comments
    Underutilized Antiviral Flu Drugs Could Save Chi…

    The drumbeat has started to get your flu shot. As influenza starts showing up around the country you will no doubt be urged to get vaccinated. But last year's vaccine produced dismal results. Even tho…

    By: Terry Graedon September 30, 2013 9 Comments
    Will the Flu Shot Protect You from Influenza Inf…

    The drumbeat has begun. Americans are being urged to line up early for flu shots. The message is that if people act fast to get vaccinated now they will be protected from influenza when it becomes wid…

    By: Terry Graedon September 26, 2013 11 Comments
    Choosing Which Flu Shot Is More Complicated This…

    Public health officials are urging people to get their flu shots early. This year, though, the decision about which vaccine to ask for is more complicated than ever. Some vaccines are now being made i…

    By: Terry Graedon September 4, 2013 2 Comments
    Home Flu Test May Help Sufferers Get More Timely…

    Flu season isn't far off, and some public health agencies are already encouraging people to get vaccinated. In future years, people might be able to test themselves for influenza at home to tell if th…

    By: Terry Graedon March 10, 2013 8 Comments
    Flu Shot Fell Short for Seniors This Year

    At the peak of this year's influenza season, public health officials were panicky. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a flu epidemic in mid-January. The city of Boston and …

    By: Joe Graedon February 28, 2013 21 Comments
    What Happened with This Year’s Flu Shot?

    Six weeks ago public health officials were wringing their hands and warning Americans about the terrible influenza epidemic sweeping the nation. The governor of New York declared a public health emerg…

    By: Joe Graedon January 17, 2013 0 Comments
    What Is the State of the Flu Season?

    Experts for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wonder if we have passed the peak of flu season. That's because the CDC's sentinel system reported reduced flu activity from several states i…

    By: Joe Graedon January 17, 2013 1 Comments
    Tamiflu for Children in Short Supply

    Public health officials have encouraged everyone to get a flu shot to protect themselves. Early CDC data suggest that the flu shot is roughly 60 percent effective. That means that a sizable number of …

    By: Terry Graedon January 12, 2013 152 Comments
    How Bad Is the Flu? How Good Is the Shot?

    We are getting incredibly confusing and conflicting messages about this year's flu season. First we were told that influenza was hitting early and hitting hard. Network news shows aired scary video cl…