Killing the Flu in Just One Day
A breakthrough medication promises to kill the flu in 24 hours. Here’s the catch: it’s only available in Japan.
With over 97 deaths and counting, this year’s flu has taken its toll on Americans. Currently, the only drug available in the US to fight the flu is Tamiflu. However, Tamiflu doesn’t kill the virus and only inhibits serious complications and reduces the duration of the flu. Tamiflu only works 48 hours within the first onset flu symptoms and must be taken repeatedly over 5 days. Tamiflu is a neuraminidase inhibitor which works to prevent the flu from spreading.
The flu starts when the virus reaches your lungs. As it enters the cells of your lungs, the cells continue to copy themselves. Unlike other drugs, Xofluza works differently. Xofluza, manufactured by Japanese drug maker Shionogi, has been shown to be effective in about 24 hours.
This drug inhibits an enzyme the flu virus needs to replicate through preventing a process called “cap snatching” from occuring. Viruses use this mechanism to insert their own code into the mRNA (messenger RNA) transcription system. This prevents the problem at its source and stops the spread of the flu.
This drug won’t be available again in Japan in May and in the US till 2019. So bundle up America! We’ll just have to wait this one out.
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