Intended for healthcare professionals


Festive flu delay . . . and other stories

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: (Published 12 January 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j54

This article has a correction. Please see:

How flu viruses coped with Christmas

Towards the end of December, schools close and large numbers of people travel to spend time with their extended families. What is a poor influenza virus to do? Schoolchildren are the best vectors for annual flu outbreaks, but over Christmas the viruses resort to adult-to-adult transmission, according to a study of US flu patterns (J Infect Dis doi:10.1093/infdis/jiw642). Using medical claims data and a deterministic, age specific spatial metapopulation model, the authors conclude that this has the effect of delaying the peak of influenza epidemics in countries celebrating the holidays.

Recruiting older breast cancer patients

Almost half of breast cancer deaths occur in women aged 70 or over. Yet a survey of recruitment to 16 trials for breast cancer treatment …

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