Immunology

Study links flu deaths to flu complications

An article by Dr. Kathleeen Sullivan, chief of Allergy and Immunology, in the June issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology links children's deaths from the flu to a post-flu complication. In these cases, the flu virus immobilizes toll-like receptor cells in the immune system that normally would fight off bacterial infections. When a child in this condition is exposed to a bacterial infection, he is unable to fight it off. She recommends that physicians reconsider the use of antibiotics in cases where children with the flu begin to recover then suddenly become much sicker.

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