Health Watch -- Infections: Understanding Influenza

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we'll look at different kinds of infections as well as how scientists are studying them, and how they may be treated. While bird flu is making the news, scientists are finding new ways to study the influenza virus.

Researchers have created a web-based "map" to illustrate the interactions between the virus and its human host. The map resembles a constellation, so it's sometimes called a "starry sky" map. Dr. Richard Scheuermann, a pathologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, says understanding these interactions is critical for designing antiviral drugs and new vaccines. Individual reactions are shown on the map as separate components and associated reactions are linked by arrows.

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March 2006

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