A meta-analysis of multiple trials covering over 1,500 people and published in the Lancet not only revealed that Echinacea helps avert and shorten colds and flus, but also got substantial press coverage in the mainstream media. Nothing new for herbalists - merely a vindication of what we have known for a while: when taken at adequate doses in the real world, Echinacea species really are effective. Beyond colds and flus, I often use this plant for topical bacterial (e.g. Staph) infections, to excellent effect -- and considering drug-resistant staph may be much more widespread than we thought, Echinacea will become much more important than it already is.
As far as the new meta-analysis goes, HerbalGram wrote a review, and USA Today gave mass media's take.