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Cedar Rapids Gazette Newspaper Archive: February 24, 1974 - Page 7

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - February 24, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                Tlie Cedar Kaplds Gazette: Siui., Feb. 24, 1971 Makers Seek To Outwit Fast-Changing Flu Viruses WASHINGTON. n.c.-Tim f_xisl 1! flu. arc that both components of the actor. InlMmuion Service WASHINGTON, D.C.-Tlic chances are you have escaped the flu this yoar-so far. But there are two brand new viruses lurking around some- where, just wailing to pounce One of (hem is already caus- ing trouble in Ihe Midwesl- and the Hu season slill lias several weeks to run. Flu viruses have a nasty h a b i t of outwitting their human victims. They do so by changing their coats, adopting new disguises so that they are not immediately recognized and destroyed by the defen- sive forces of our bodies. No sooner do these defenses learn to recognize and cope with one flu virus than another comes along. Influenza is the last of the great plagues. In the winter of 19G8-69-fiome 40 years after the causative virus was isolat- ed, and 30 years after an ef fective vaccine was devel- Hong Kong flu epi- demic caused the death of be- tween and Ameri- cans. Most of them died from pneumonia, the moat no- torious of flu's complications. At that time, the virus hac just undergone one of the most dramatic of its periodic changes of character, render- ing virtually useless existing vaccines. Last winter, the virus changed again, though this time only slightly. While the Hong Kong vaccine then in use was pretty effective against the new "London" flu, at least deaths in 122 U.S. cities were caused by flu and its side effects. Now the virus has done it again. A few days after Thanksgiving, the Bureau of Biologies in Bethesda, Md., the agency responsible for li- censing vaccines in the U.S., learned that another new virus had emerged. Known as New Zealand flu, after the country in which it was first isolated, the virus was expect- ed to hit the northern hemi- sphere this-winter. Whether it will replace the London flu, whether it will cause a major epidemic, or whether the existing London flu vaccines will be effective against it, are still unknowns. So far, the signs are that we will escape this year; but flu experts still recall 1965, when a major flu epidemic hit well into March. As Dr. Robert Chanock: of the National Insti- tute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases puts it: "People who make predictions (about flu) are likely to finish up with egg on their faces." But the emergence of the new strain is not the only way that flu continues to outwit medical scientists. Like its predecessors the new strain is a variety of the so-called A flu viruses. It is these that are able to undergo the most rapid and frequent changes in character and which are thus responsible for the great glo- bal epidemics. But there also Trujillo Is Thinking of Return Try MADRID, Spain (AP) Thir- teen years after his family was thrown out of the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean, Rha- dames Trujillo sits comfortably in his apartment here thinking about comebacks. Balding, twice divorced but still wealthy, the surviving son of the late Dominican dictator is turning toward political action for the first time in his life. "Frankly, it would be easier for me to stay he said. "But 1 want lo do something for my country." The something so far has been to try lo form "a move- ment" that can exert force someday. Beyond being strongly nationalistic, Trujillo's move- ment has no name or clear aims yet. In fact, he disclaims being the leader. "I will accept whatever job they give me. But as of now I say I do not aspire in any way to be the absolute leader." It seems clear, however, that without the 31-year-old Trujillo, and perhaps much of his money, the movement will not get far. A business malt who says he has no financial interests in Spain, Tnijillo acknowledges his group lias no chance at all of being on the ballot In Mny when Dominicans are expected to re- elect President Joaqiiin Bnln- fiiiei' to his Ihlrd four-year term, Trujillo mid Ills advisers are looking Instead lo 10711, by which limo ho hopes lo bo able lo re- turn homo, lie has been In exile In Spnln off ami on since exist B flu viruses. These arc more stable and cause a milder form of flu. The "divalent" vaccines on the market contain both A and B flu viruses, the B strain being one that has been pre- valent in the U.S. for over a decade. But now, Ion, the type B virus has changed its char- aclcr. First spotted in Hong Kong in June, 1972, the new B strain failed lo come north last winter. This year the signs are that it will sweep across the northern hemi- sphere. Because of this, a vac- cine against the new B strain is being given as an exlra shot to people receiving Ihe diva- lent vaccine. The Midwest outbreak is caused by (he so-called B- Hong Kong strain. These changes In both flu viruses have meant, of course, that both components of the vaccine used Ibis year are lit- erally out of date. The new It strain will hopefully be con- trolled by the extra shot. And the expectation is that the New Zealand A virus is little enough different from the Iximloii virus that existing vaccines will give protection against It. But of course, no one can be sure. How is it that the flu viruses keep changing as they do, continually outfoxing their human victims? And why can- not vaccines be prepared against new flu strains as soon as they emerge and be- fore they can cause an epi- demic? i Scientists think they now have the answer to the first question; and in discovering the way the A flu viruses un- dergo their big jumps in char- acter, researchers arc learn- ing bow to exploit the virus' own tricks lo solve the second problem. Scientists found that the major leaps taken by the flu virus occur when a human flu virus becomes crossed wilh a flu virus (ual infects animals. The result Is a part-human, part-animal, hybrid virus. (This is the reason why the major new flu viruses come mainly from Southeast Asia, where man and bis domestic animals often live in close contact.) Vaccines aimed at such a hybrid were the next step. A vaccine consists of killed or harmless viruses that alert the body's immune defenses, and allow them to recognize and quickly kill that virus should it ever come along again. But if the virus lias changed, that recognition is impaired. With a big change such as that caused by a hybrid, the new virus may be completely unrecognizable, and Ihe vaccine confers no protection at all. Fortunately most of the new disguises flu viruses adopt are Ihe result of tiny rather than wholesale changes in their genes. It used lo take a full year to gear up for the, production of a new flu vaccine once a new strain had been identified. To make vaccines, Ihe virus is grown in fertilized hen's eggs, some two or three eggs being needed to produce a single dose. The viruses are then killed and purified before they can be used as a vaccine. All this takes time; but one of the trickiest and lengthiest stages was to persuade the new strain to grow in lion's eggs. Dr. Ed Kilbourne of Mt. Sinai hospital in New York came up with a solution: ex- ploit the virus' quick-change artistry, and cross the new strain of virus with an exist- ing strain that reveled in the idea of growing in eggs. A virus could thus be created which had Ihe recognition characteristics of the new strain wilh the growth charac- teristics of the old. All flu vaccines now made In tile U.S. arc based on such hybrid viruses. The method has simplified and shortened the manufacturing process. But the main reason it takes so long to get a new vaccine on the market is the sheer scale of the with two or three eggs required for each dose. What is needed is a vaccine that will be effective in much smaller doses. That means, essentially, going to live rather than killed flu vac- cines. A live virus will grow and multiply in the body after injection, boosting itself to a level at which the immune system is alerted. A single egg might produce doses rather than half a dose. The one tricky requirement of a live vaccine, though, is that while growing in the body, it must not cause the disease. A number of approaches are being taken towards a live vaccine, but one of the most cunning is being pursued by Dr. Chanoek and his col- leagues. Their idea was to find a flu virus that could grow in the nose but not in the lungs. Such a virus might cause a few sniffles, but not full-blown flu. It is much cool- er in the nose than in the lungs, somewhere in the lower 90s rather than 93.4 degrees F. By using chemical agents that induce mutations, he found such a virus, derived from the Asian flu virus. The virus causes only a very mild, almost unnoticed infection, yet a vaccine made from it protects against the disease in the future. Dr. Chanock is presently crossing this so-called "tem- perature-sensitive" virus with the new flu strains, hoping to make harmless live versions of the the new flu viruses as they pop up. From his work may come a vaccine that will be more effective in giving protection, and which can also be made in large quantities quickly. Quickly enough, per- haps, for man to at last get one jump ahead in the non- stop race with the flu. SMULEKOFF'S v I acres of everything for fho homa 4, j Third Avenue at first Street In Downtown Cedar Rapids Free Parking For Our Customers, Using Park and Shop Plan. 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SIZE DESCRIPTION YSDQS< 12x57' GOLD Shag Twisf Nylon Pile.........................75 12x52'6" ORANGE Shag Twist Nylon Pile...................... 70 12x45' BLUETwist Nylon Pile..............................60 12x60 MULTI Nylon Stripe with Foam...................... 80 12x55'6" LIME Shag Plush Dacron Pile........................ 74 12x53' BLUE Shag Plush Dacron Pile.........................70% 12x46' PURPLEShag Plush Dacron Pile.......................61% 12x45' MULTI Shag Stripe with Foam.......................60 12x38'3" GOLD Carved Pattern Nylon Pile..................... 51 12x36' AVOCADO Carved Pattern Nylon Pile..................43 12x39' BLUE Carved Pattern Nylon Pile......................52 12x37'6" LIGHT GREEN Carved Pattern Nylon Pile...............50 12x60' ORANGE Nylon Pattern with Foam................... 80 12x45' BRONZE Shag Twist Nylon Pile........................60 12x27' Sheared Pattern Nylon..................36 12x30'3" Carved Shag Nylon Pile .................40 12x36' Carved Shag Nylon Pile.................48 12x33' BRIGHT GREEN Sculptured Pattern Kodel Pile ...........44 12x37'6" BRIGHT GOLD Sculptured Pattern Kodel Pile............50 12x45' RED Nylon Pattern with Foam....................... 60 12x48' GREEN Nylon Pattern with Foam.....................64 12x46' GREEN Nylon Tweed with 12x28'6" PALM Shag Blush Nylon Pile.........................33 COPPER Carved Shag Antron Pile.....................36% 12x30'9" BRIGHT GREEN Carved Shag Antron Pile...............41 12x37'6" RUST Carved Pattern Dacron Pile.....................50 12x39'9" GOLD Carved Pattern Dacron Pile....................53 12x36' MIST GREEN Carved Pattern Dacron Pile ...............48 12x37' Carvod Shag Nylon 12x38' GOLD Carved Pattern Kotlol Pile.....................50% SALE SIZE 12x39' 12x35'3" 12x28' 12x30' .12x27' 12x45' 12x50' 12x47'3" 12x44'. 12x60' 12x52'6" 12x55'6" 12x50'3" 12x48' 12x52'6" 12x45' 12x30'9" 12x37'6" 12x52'6" 12x33' 12x35' 12x36' 12x44' 12x39'9" 12x37'6" 12x39'. 12x33'9" 12x34' 12x32'3" DESCRIPTION REG. 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