Research suggests that examining the compounds in exhaled breath may help to avoid unnecessary flu vaccinations.
A new study published in the Journal of Breath Research has indicated that a simple, noninvasive breath test might be used to distinguish individuals who have recently been infected with influenza. This approach could provide a novel avenue towards combating vaccine shortages during a future pandemic.
Following the recent discovery that more than half of the people vaccinated in Glasgow during the 2009 H1N1 'swine flu'â pandemic may already have been infected with the circulating virus, it is apparent that a significant proportion of individuals may have been vaccinated unnecessarily.
These findings emphasize the potential value of obtaining a fast, noninvasive test to determine individuals who have been infected with influenza. Indeed, not only would such a tool help to prioritize people who would benefit most from immunization, but it could significantly reduce the risk of vaccine shortages during a future pandemic.
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