St. Michael's Hospital finds successful new flu treatment

Scientists target hos and not flu virus find successful new treatment in mice | Courtesy of

A team of researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital, located in Toronto, Ontario, have found a successful new treatment for the flu virus in mouse subjects, when the scientists treat the host rather than the virus itself.

Many people do not realize that the patients who die from the flu do not die from the flu itself but from respiratory failure; the patients’ small blood vessels begin to seep fluid into the person’s air sacs in their lungs. The team of researchers at St. Michael’s decided to make a method of stopping the blood vessels from leaking rather than treating the virus itself.

The new drug, called Vasculotide, has proven to be successful in treating multiple strains of the influenza virus, such as the swine flu strain that caused the pandemic in 2009. One hundred percent of the mice that did not receive the drug died in just one week; 80 percent of the mice that received the drug survived the study.

Each year, the flu kills countless people worldwide. Unfortunately, the medical industry has found only one class of drugs that can deter the virus. There have already been reports of drug-resistant flu virus cases, which makes health professionals concerned that the flu could develop into a pandemic similar to the one in 1918, which killed 50 million people.