New, fast-acting drug offers novel way to combat flu virus

Henry Beverly 73 battles the flu while being tended to by nurse Kathleen Burks at Upson Regional Medical Center in Thomaston Georgia

Experimental flu drug could kill the virus in one day.

The FDA will have to now evaluate the claims. Even if all goes well, the drug still won't be available in the United States until next year, at the earliest.

In Japan, one company says it has developed a treatment that kills the flu in a day, and a doctor in the exploring the use of ultraviolet light to kill the virus.

Health officials renewed their pleas for people to have the flu jab, adding "it's not too late to protect yourself and your family".

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The tragic story of a teacher from Texas who died of the flu after she declined to pay $116 for antiviral medication is bringing attention to drug prices.

Another benefit is the single dose delivery, compared to oseltamivir's 10-dose regimen (two doses daily for five days), which isn't necessarily just a question of convenience, the drugmakers say. Doctors prescribe Tamiflu and its generic version to help lessen the severity of the flu, but even with doctor's orders some people can't afford to get their prescription filled.

This season's flu outbreak is the worst since the swine flu pandemic of 2009. Other drugs also are being developed to better counter the flu, but the 24-hour Japanese drug is the furthest along in development. Takeki Uehara, who led the compound's development, told the Wall Street Journal it was developed by researchers studying an anti-HIV drug that does the same thing. Her pharmacist said she isn't the only one making their way to the pharmacy.

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Shinoagi and Roche, the company that makes Tamiflu, said they are in the process of conducting a second-stage of global trials. It could take up until next year to get a decision, Shinogai said. They will then apply for U.S. approval this summer.

The flu has been particularly deadly this year.

The outlet claims there were 40,414 deaths in the USA during the third week of 2018 and 4,064 were from pneumonia or influenza.

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