The WellKiwis studies are members of the SHIVERS programme family. SHIVERS is a long series of research on influenza (virus and vaccine) and the WellKiwis Infant study is the third and the WellKiwis Household study is the fourth in the series.
This is a multi-agency collaboration led by the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR). Other collaborating organisations include the Universities of Otago and Auckland, the Hutt Valley and Capital and Coast District Health Boards, Regional Public Health and other LMCs.
ESR is New Zealand’s Crown Research Institute specialising in science for communities. ESR use world-leading science to safeguard our health, keep our communities safe, protect our food-based economy, and manage the human impact on our water and natural environment. To learn more please visit the website(external link).
Influenza is challenging to study and there are many aspects of the flu we don't fully understand. WellKiwis is the piece of research that emerged from a global pandemic conference, and leading scientists from around the world believe this study could deliver the insights needed to put an end to pandemics and create the universal flu vaccine.
This is pioneering research and is one of three sites globally. The WellKiwis study site is located in Wellington, represents influenza transmission patterns in a Southern Hemisphere country with a temperate climate. The Los Angeles study site represents influenza transmission in a Northern Hemisphere country with a temperate climate. The Managua site in Nicaragua represents influenza transmission in a tropical climate.
Influenza or the flu is a virus that spreads quickly from person to person, it's a common viral infection that can cause severe illness and for some, even fatal.
The flu attacks the lungs, nose and throat. Young children, older adults, pregnant women and people with chronic diseases or weak immune systems are at high risk.
Our research has shown pregnant women and 3 - 5 times more likely to be admitted to hospital because of the flu.
Below is a video of ESR scientist Namrata Prasad explaining the findings.