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Big UK trial to find best drugs to fight flu

With flu cases rising, UK Covid scientists are turning their attention to finding the best life-saving drugs to fight the winter virus.

A trial will run across 150 hospitals this year and next, recruiting thousands of patients.

Flu vaccines help prevent infection but each year some people become very sick.

And antiviral tablets - given within a couple of days of symptoms developing - are designed to reduce the severity of these bad infections.

One of the pills the Imperial College London team will be testing is oseltamivir, or Tamiflu. It is recommended to treat severe flu - but whether it saves lives is unclear.

Funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research, the Randomised, Embedded, Multi-factorial, Adaptive Platform Trial for Community-Acquired Pneumonia (Remap-Cap) will study how good the treatments are at reducing deaths and intensive care admissions.

Chief investigator Prof Anthony Gordon told BBC News: "We want to learn at pace what works, just like we did during Covid.

"We'll test multiple treatments in different combinations. Some are antivirals that stop the virus, others are steroids or other treatments that work on how the body responds to infections.

"We hope that our trial will help to find urgently needed flu treatments rapidly. Our Covid trial changed clinical practice globally and we hope we can impact flu treatment and reduce winter pressures on the NHS in the same way."

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Source: BBC News, 29 November 2022


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