The flu virus has another trick up its sleeve – it may trigger diabetes. The good news is that this discovery may give us a way to prevent some forms of the disease.
The link between diabetes and flu adds to growing evidence that many diseases considered non-infectious are actually caused by infection – and can therefore spread.
There is also new evidence that flu can cause heart attacks. Previously, this was suspected, because of the surge in heart attacks that regularly follows the annual flu season. But researchers at the University of Toronto, Canada, have now demonstrated the effect in individual patients. They reported this week that vaccinating adults for flu, whether they already have cardiac problems or not, makes them half as likely to have a heart attack or stroke in the following year (Canadian Journal of Cardiology, doi.org/jnr).