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Universal Flu Vaccine

Universal Flu Vaccine on the Horizon?

A little cold I can handle, even a sinus infection, but the flu? I don't remember ever feeling as bad as I did the week I came down with the flu. I was so delirious from my 103° fever, and combined with the chills, body aches, and pounding headache, it was just unbearable. To prevent feeling that horrible every year, I make sure to head to my doctor's office for a flu shot, but it doesn't always work since it doesn't protect against all strains. So when I read that UK researchers may have created a universal flu shot, I became quite hopeful.

This vaccine is different from current flu vaccines because it targets the proteins inside the flu virus rather than the proteins on the external coat. These interior proteins are similar across all strains of the flu and less likely to mutate, so this one vaccine could be used to prevent all types of flu. Another difference is that this new treatment helps boost the production of T-cells which can identify, attack, and kill infected cells. So it's much more effective than today's vaccine that just stimulates the body to produce antibodies to fight the flu. If this new vaccine is successful, it could prevent future nasty outbreaks like the swine flu and H1N1.

I don't know about you, but it'd be a huge relief during cold and flu season to get one shot and know I'd never have to suffer in bed surrounded by snotty tissues again.

Source: Getty
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