Antiviral treatment for flu and public health policy

Vaccinations against influenza are recommended by the World Health Organization for those at high risk. The Influenza vaccine is effective against three or four types of influenza. Outbreaks of influenza occur every year and typically reach epidemic levels at some part of the season. Influenza viruses are constantly changing; they can change from one season to the next and can even change within the course of one flu season. Resistance of influenza A viruses to antiviral drugs can occur spontaneously or emerge during the course of antiviral treatment or antiviral exposure. Antiviral medications currently recommended include oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) and zanamivir (Relenza®). The vast majority of currently circulating influenza viruses is sensitive to these medications. Getting a yearly seasonal flu vaccination is the first and most important step in preventing the flu. The vaccine protects against an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and one or two influenza B viruses (depending on the vaccine). CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get vaccinated each year. Viral infections of the respiratory tract impose a high burden on society. In the last half of the 20th century, efforts to prevent or minimize their impact centred on the use of influenza vaccines. Each year enormous effort goes into producing that year's vaccine and delivering it to appropriate sections of the population. 

  • Effectiveness of antivirals
  • Novel antiviral agents in advanced development
  • Antiviral therapeutics and advancement in antiviral drug delivery
  • Novel antiviral therapies for influenza and other respiratory viruses

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