Calling anti-viral medications a “critical part” of the tool kit to counter the flu, Rear Adm. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlighted some new guidance on the treatment and prevention of influenza—including the deadly H1N1 strain—for the coming 2009-10 flu season.
As with the agency’s earlier guidelines, the recommendations still call for treatment of influenza with the anti-viral medications oseltamivir and zanamivir for people with suspected or confirmed influenza, and generally for those who are at higher risk, such as pregnant women, very young children, adults over the age of 65, and people who have certain chronic conditions. But Schuchat emphasized that anti-viral medications should be used carefully so they can have a benefit. “A key point is that most children, adolescents and adults do not need anti-viral medicine,” Schuchat told members of the media. “If all of those people take anti-virals, things might get worse.”