A mighty fighting flu breakthrough

The days of using the flu as your favourite sickie excuse could be over.

Our scientists have helped to design a new drug to protect against epidemic and pandemic flu strains.

The new drug has stopped the spread of virus strains in their tracks in laboratory testing – even those resistant strains of the virus!

The breakthrough is the result of a global collaboration between scientists from CSIRO, the University of British Columbia and the University of Bath.

Nasty flu viruses bind onto sugars on the cell surface. To be able to spread they need to remove these sugars. The new drug works by preventing the virus from removing sugars and blocking the virus from infecting more cells. It is hoped the drug will also be effective against future strains of the virus.

Dr Jenny McKimm-Breschkin, a researcher in the team that developed the very first flu drug Relenza, explains to us how it all works.

Watch our chat with Dr McKimm-Breschkin here:

Video transcript is available here.

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