Clearfield County is one of three counties in the state reporting more than the usual number of flu-related emergency department visits. Influenza is also being reported in 53 of 67 counties, up from 41 the week before.
Meantime, researchers are hard at work developing better ways to fight the flu. Chemical Engineer Tim Whitehead and a team of researchers from across the United States want to wipe out the flu. Using super computers they're designing proteins from scratch, that are able to find a vulnerable portion of the virus that's in most common strains and latch on.
In the lab, the protein's been tested in animal cells. According to Whitehead, "in the presence of our protein, the cells aren't infected."
Whitehead says the flu protein is separate from a vaccine..and the idea is to administer it before or after an outbreak.
He says we're about five to ten years from human testing.
Meanwhile, Wired-dot-com reports, Craig Venter, who helped sequence the human genome wants us all to be able to print flu vaccines.
At a recent health conference, Venter said his team is working on digitizing vaccines that could be emailed, downloaded, printed from a special device and injected.
Venter's team is testing a biological printer, but there are a lot of regulatory issues to consider before it ever becomes a reality.