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Alert Number 221

This Year's Flu

This year’s flu season is going great guns, and if your browser lets you see the picture below you can see the country is awash with red and blue color, red for widespread flu activity and blue for regional spread. These are the two highest ratings for influenza incidence. If you cannot see the picture, there is often more than one way to skin a cat: just click on the link below, then click “GO!” on the topmost box (latest week) for which the CDC has information. Scroll down to the bottom. Presto!

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/fluactivity.htm

I wish I had good news to report on our efforts to get the "Jab & Dab" project going. This is the clinical trial we have sponsored, with Dr. Terry Hamblin as our Principal Investigator. Unfortunately, the paperwork and official approval process has proven to be more difficult to navigate than Dr. Hamblin expected and we are still not in a position to actually “Jab” patients with the year’s flu vaccine, followed by a “Dab” of Imiquimod (trade name “Aldara”), hopefully leading to more effective vaccination process. Time is passing, and I have just about lost hope that we will be able to get this trial off the ground for this season.

In other words, you are on your own, no chance of getting feedback from the Jab& Dab trial anytime soon. It would be a shame to keep an eagle eye on the CLL, just to succumb to the pesky flu. It is amazing how much it helps to follow simple and commonsense precautions, including washing your hands very often, using alcohol gel for sanitizing your hands and keeping a safe distance between you and obviously sick friends. We have compiled a list of obvious precautions to take, and in case you want to double-check your take on this, here is the link: Flu Preparedness.

I have not given up on Jab & Dab concept, nor has Terry. We will lick our wounds, recoup and try again for next year’s flu season. I know, I too wish things had turned out differently. Next time around, I will not be naïve about the amount of time it takes to satisfy official requirements. “Murphy’s law” works in cancer research, as it does in all aspects of life. If things can go wrong, chances are they will.

Be well,

Chaya
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