What If Chronic Kidney Disease And Dialysis Patients Could Prevent The Flu Without A Flu Shot?




A viewer wrote, "It is almost the time of the year to take that darn Flu Shot again. I hate it! Every time my nurse gives it to me I feel drowsy, tired and like I already have the flu. Am I the only one, and is there anything that I can do about it?"

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Although, Fresenius Medical Care recommends Seasonal Flu Shots for Dialysis patients many Chronic Kidney Disease patients find that taking their Flu Shot is uncomfortable and causes them to feel "out-of-it" for a number of days afterward. Now, however, researchers have discovered a way to trigger a preventive response to a "Flu Infection without any help from the usual players - the virus itself or interferon, a powerful infection fighter," reported Newsmedical.net.

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Beyond common side effects associated with the Flu Shot in Dialysis patients, "Vaccinating Dialysis patients against the flu with the inactivated virus vaccine used to inoculate (treat) the general population might not provide effective protection," according to a study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The University of North Carolina found that the vaccine did not prevent deaths, and it also did not prevent other flu-like illnesses while only preventing two percent (2%) of flu- and pneumonia-related hospitalizations.

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New findings published in the journal, Public Library of Science, suggested that Ohio State University Researchers have found a path to "an alternative way to not just reduce the severity of the flu, but prevent infection altogether." The method involves raising the level of a select protein called IFITM3 (pronounced I-fit-M-3). It is known to be effective against all strains of influenza ever tested. Hence, the trick for infection prevention is to boost the IFITM3 protein levels in cells before the virus shows up.

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While there is a very scientific way of doing this, in short: Researchers at Ohio State University have tested their theory in both mice and human cells and identified positive results. If successful, it could mean the end of the Flu Shot for good. However, there were draw backs as well. 

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For instance, the study found that increasing IFITM3 may require the suppression of another important protein and result in birth defects of unborn children. Hence, current findings support that the treatment may be best suited for Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients later in life. 

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Full experimental drugs have been developed and experiments have started in living mice. However, Human Trials have not yet commenced. "The long-term goal is to develop a vaccine-independent method to prevent flu infections," said Ohio State University Lead Researcher, Jacob Yount. If you would like to be updated on the progress of this treatment option, then complete the below form. In the meantime, while the current Flu Vaccine may not be as effective as the option in development, Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients are still encouraged to continue taking their Flu Vaccine unless their Healthcare Team recommends otherwise. 

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