The CDC says flu activity in the U.S. is low but expected to pick up in the coming weeks. In Pennsylvania, so far this flu season, the State Health Department is reporting 310 cases , with the larger number in eastern Pa.
In our region, some counties have no confirmed cases, while others report only a handful.
The best way to protect yourself is a flu shot, which is recommended for everyone six months and older.
However, if you do end up coming down with it, recently, the FDA approved the first new drug to treat the flu in nearly 20 years. The antiviral drug called Xofluza is for patients 12 and older who have a typical case of the flu.
It’s a single dose drug that is the first in a new class of antivirals.The drug blocks an enzyme in the flu virus, stopping it from replicating.
Like other flu drugs such as Tamiflu, it’s meant to be taken within the first 48 hours of symptoms.
Studies show Xofluza reduced the duration of flu symptoms by more than one day compared to placebo and had similar effectiveness as Tamiflu.
While antiviral drugs can lessen symptoms and the time you’re sick, government health officials say the best protection is to get vaccinated.