Transcript for There's a lot of buzz on a new drug to treat the flu
Well, the flu season is off to an early start, the earliest in 15 years. At last count 26 states and Puerto Rico reporting high or moderate levels of flu-like illness and the food and drug administration reminding everyone that antivirals are not the best defense against the flu. Dr. Jen Ashton is joining us now with this "Gma" health alert. Dr. Ashton, always great to see you. We appreciate it. I want to ask about this new drug that is getting a lot of buzz as the flu season picks up here. It's been out for about a year. What do people need to know about it? Yeah, good morning, whit. This is the new kid on the block in terms of treatment for influenza. It's called xofluza. That's the brand name and it's approved for 12 and older. One pill ideally taken within 48 hours. Without any insurance coverage, it's about $150, as low as 30 compared to Tamiflu that could be around $50. What about those who think they can skip the vaccine and deal with symptoms as they come if needed. You've heard me say this before. There is a big difference in medicine between prevention and treatment. The flu vaccine as vaccines go far from the most effective we have, but it is the best we have. So think of this like a seat belt, it doesn't guarantee you won't have a serious injury in a car accident but it's still recommended. And one thing that you've reminded us with this before is that it's often hard to tell the difference between the flu and other viruses this time of year. Yeah, there are a lot of viruses circulating, not just influenza. The key with influenza, it generally comes on fast associated with high fever, headache, cough, chest pain, sore throat, common cold generally gives you symptoms above the neck, flu, really the whole body. Best prevention, hand hygiene, getting enough sleep and, again, just if possible, stay home if you are sick. Always important information. Dr. Jen Ashton, thank you so much. We appreciate it.
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