At a time when the flu season is shaping for bad times this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has backed more use of antiviral medicines like Relenza and Tamiflu as the vaccine introduced this times provides reduced protection against the dominant flu strains.
The health regulatory body has also urged the doctors and other medical professionals to use Tamiflu and other antiviral mediations for hospitalized patients with flu and also for those who are at higher risk for complications such as pneumonia.
“It’s more important than usual that doctors treat certain patients with Tamiflu or other antiviral medications,” said CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden.
According to the CDC, the use antivirals like Tamiflu is recommended because the flu vaccines have failed to emerge very effective against this flu season’s H3N2 virus.
“Doctors require taking early necessary precautions to lower the risks of flu infections by using antiviral drugs for patients that exhibit symptoms indicative of flu, even before the condition is confirmed to be influenza,” Dr. Frieden said.
The health body further said that the latest flu strain is quite nasty and more dangerous for high risk groups including young children, pregnant women and elderly. The health experts have also recommended vaccination against the flu strains to all, particularly the high risk groups.
“It is strictly advised to everyone to get vaccinated against flu, whose recent mutation strain (H3N2) is getting stronger for existing antiviral drugs,” the CDC director said while adding, “If the antivirals are given at the right time, they can decrease the amount of time someone is sick with the flu.”
This flu season has spread to as much as 46 states, a rise from last week’s 43 states Even though the flu has been on the decline in some of the states, it is rising in others, according to the CDC.