In the midst of this year’s severe flu epidemic, which caused over 17,000 hospitalizations since October, a Japanese drug maker claims to have developed an experimental pill that kills the virus in one day.
Japanese and American patients participating in a trial of the new Shionogi & Co. pill experienced relief in 24 hours, a third of the time Tamiflu takes to produce the same effect. Both pills took the same time to eradicate all flu symptoms.
Viruses hijack human cells and force them to produce new viruses. Unlike current treatments, which prevent newly produced viruses from exiting infected cells, Shionogi’s pill stops the cells from producing viruses in the first place.