Newswise – In the event of a bird flu influenza pandemic, the world’s vaccine manufacturers will be in a race against time. But now researchers at the University of Wisconsin, working with scientists at the University of Tokyo, have discovered a quicker, more efficient way to make flu vaccine. As soon as an effective avian flu vaccine is created, drug companies will be able to replicate it in large quantities, so that we can all be immunized.

All flu vaccines are created using chicken eggs, which is why your doctor will ask you if you’re allergic to eggs when go in for a flu shot. Researchers have discovered a new way to generate genetically altered influenza virus. The lab-made viruses that go into flu shots contain genes are manipulated to disarm their virulent nature, which is why you can’t catch the flu from a flu shot. If you get the flu shortly after being vaccinated, it means you were too late?you caught the flu virus, which takes time to incubate, before you got your shot.

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We can’t say it too many times: the key to avoiding the flu is to wash your hands whenever you come in from outside?and often during the day, since your family may bring the virus indoors with them. Flu viruses live on surfaces. The reason SARS was such a killer was because it can survive on surfaces for 3 days. Make sure your kids wash their hands often too.

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