A new pill that can fight the flu as soon as symptoms strike has been approved for use in Australia.
It's the first time in two decades a new antiviral medication will be made available.
The drug, marketed as Xofluza with the active ingredient baloxavir, has been used in the US for just over a year.
Antiviral medications can shorten the length of an illness, if prescribed within the first two days of symptoms.
"(Xofluza) works very well and very quickly, and a single dose is usually what's required, as opposed to five days' treatment the old way," Professor Robert Booy of the University of Sydney said.
This drug also works slightly differently in that it blocks the ability of the influenza virus to make copies of itself within an infected cell.
Unfortunately, supplies won't be available for this year's flu season. But clinical trials are currently underway in hospitals across Australia, testing the benefits of combining this medication with standard care for severe sufferers.
The number of official flu cases are already high for this time of year, with more than 12,700 recorded.
Authorities are concerned about the upcoming flu season coinciding with the spread of coronavirus.
Australian Medical Association president Dr Chris Moy said the "main message" for everybody was to make sure they got a flu shot.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/flu-season-new-drug-approved-in-australia/729aa817-ef6e-4b1d-a818-77d501f93ef4