Apr 11, 2014 – Antivirals

April 11, 2014

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ANCHOR LEAD: WHAT’S THE WINDOW FOR ANTIVIRAL DRUGS? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Antiviral drugs given to people with the flu result in quite a drop in mortality in those hospitalized with the infection, a recent Lancet study shows, but benefit is time senstive. Andrea Dugas, an emergency medicine physician and influenza researcher at Johns Hopkins, explains that this is an important issue.

DUGAS: Patients don’t come in right away, and then they start to decline and that’s when they come in and get medical care. So in a recent study that we did at Johns Hopkins only a third of the patients with influenza presented within two days, so this issue of how long are these medications beneficial is quite a big deal. There have been some observational studies that have suggested that up to five days there would still be benefit. The traditional teaching is that it’s most beneficial within those first two days. I think overall the evidence is very clear, the earlier you give it the better it is. :33

So if you have severe flu symptoms, seek treatment right away. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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