Study: New drug fights flu as well as Tamiflu does

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A new flu medicine may be on the way. Researchers say the experimental drug peramivir (purr-AM-uh-veer) works as well as Tamiflu for clearing up flu symptoms.

It was tested in a large study of people with ordinary seasonal flu in Asia and is given in a single intravenous dose.

Other new studies provide the strongest evidence yet that early treatment with flu medicines can save lives, not just shorten illness by about a day. In one study of hundreds of people around the world sickened by deadly bird flu, half of those given Tamiflu survived, while nearly 90 percent of those not given antiviral drugs perished.

The studies were reported Sunday at a microbiology conference in California.

AP Medical Writer

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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