Early research into the development of a single vaccine for both influenza and pneumococcal has shown its potential to better protect against both illnesses.
Pneumococcal infections frequently follow a primary viral infection such as influenza. Notably, roughly half of the estimated 100 million deaths during the Spanish Flu of 1918 are thought to have been caused by bacteria like pneumococcus.
The research is being conducted at the University of Adelaide’s Research Centre for Infectious Diseases, at the same time that South Australia is suffering through it’s worst early outbreak of flu in recent history, with 14,000 cases already reported for 2019. Ten additional deaths from flu and related illnesses brings the total number to 27.
The spike in cases has prompted calls to ensure that vulnerable populations are vaccinated, particularly the elderly. Australians are also being asked not to visit elderly relatives if they feel sick.
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Source: ABC News