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New Pill Could Knock Out Flu In One Day

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Doctors say there may be help on the way for flu season with some new drugs.

As KCAL9/CBS2's Lisa Sigell reports, one new pill might even help you wipe out the flu in about 24 hours.

A Japanese drug maker says it's developed a drug that can kill the virus in a day -- faster than any flu drug out there.

"It is very promising," says Dr. Suman Radhakrishna, chair of infection protection at Dignity Health California Hospital.

The drug, developed by Shionogi, is just a single dose and works in 24 hours or less. Compare that to Tamiflu, a five-day dose.

In trials, the new drug worked three times faster.

"This is going to stop the virus from multiplying, so that is why people are not as sick," says Dr. Radhakrishna. "And because it stops it from multiplying, other cells don't get infected and other people don't get infected."

The doctor says this isn't the only new flu treatment in development, but most likely will be on pharmacy shelves first.

How soon?

"If it is fast-tracked then hopefully next season we should have this drug available," says Dr. Radhakrishna.

The drug could be approved in Japan as soon as next month.

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