Why anti-vaxxers might be creating a world of more dangerous viruses

In science fiction, we see all kinds of nightmare viruses that evolve immunity to vaccinations. The scary part? It could actually happen in real life, especially if anti-vaxxers encourage people not to get vaccinated. Populations with pockets of non-vaccinators are more likely to evolve vaccine-resistant viruses… » 1/01/14 10:00am 1/01/14 10:00am

Why the experts are so worried about the new bird flu

Since it was first discovered in late March of this year, the H7N9 virus has infected 60 people, killing 13. It’s not clear whether the virus can spread from person to person. But as the first round of tests on the virus has shown, it has some troublesome characteristics. » 4/16/13 3:20pm 4/16/13 3:20pm

Holy crap, this year's flu season is shaping up to be downright…

The CDC has just released its latest update on influenza activity in the United States, and the picture it paints is not pretty. First things first: GET VACCINATED. You're over six months old? Get vaccinated. Someone you interact with on a regular basis is at high risk of flu complications (i.e. young, old, pregnant,… » 1/11/13 8:30am 1/11/13 8:30am

How weather prediction models can be used to forecast flu outbreaks

The complex computer models we use to predict the weather be used to predict illness, too. According to a new paper, these models could help us know weeks in advance just how bad this flu season will be. » 11/29/12 8:20am 11/29/12 8:20am

Universal vaccine could give us a world without the flu

Because flu viruses mutate so fast, the only way to stop them is to destroy their ability to evolve. That's the key to creating a universal flu vaccine... and now we may have found the secret to creating one, and wiping out the flu. » 2/27/12 3:42pm 2/27/12 3:42pm

The more Facebook friends you have, the more likely you'll catch the flu

When you ask someone to name a friend of theirs, the person they name is almost always more popular than themselves. It's called the friendship paradox. But the cool kids with thousands of Facebook friends may find a major downside to their popularity. They're likely to get sick far quicker in an epidemic. During the… » 9/16/10 12:34pm 9/16/10 12:34pm

French Scientists Working to Create Swine-Bird Superflu

Looking toward the worst case scenario for the swine flu pandemic, virologists in Lyon are attempting to create a virus as contagious as swine flu and as deadly as avian flu. Is it time to call in Bruce Willis yet? » 11/16/09 1:20pm 11/16/09 1:20pm

Google Creates Plague Prediction System

Google doesn't just help you find the nearest pizza place anymore - now it helps doctors find where flu epidemics are going to strike next. Working with a group of epidemiologists, the tech megacorp has revealed a new system for tracking disease outbreaks by checking what people are searching for. By tracking the… » 11/20/08 10:28am 11/20/08 10:28am

Get Your Flu Shot!

Epidemiologist Rene Najera from the Maryland Department of Health wrote to remind io9 readers to get their flu shots now. Don't be a part of the next pandemic! Also, if you're in Maryland, you can help researchers by participating in this cool flu tracker program » 10/24/08 2:11pm 10/24/08 2:11pm online.