SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The latest numbers for the flu show it’s still hitting Georgia especially hard. In just a week, there were seven deaths in the state according to the Department of Public Health.
As the flu has spread far and wide this year some doctors are prescribing a number of different treatments for the virus. Doctors at Memorial Health tell us they are sticking to what they know to best serve their patients. Tamiflu is a medication Medical Director Dr. Jay Goldstein prescribes to his patients experiencing the flu.
“We will prescribe it if you are very old, very young or you have an immunocompromised state, like cancer or on chemotherapy things of that nature,” explained Dr. Goldstein. “We’re going to definitely give it to you, but the ones that are pretty healthy going into the flu we sometimes don’t even recommend giving it because it’s just not that effective.”
The drug, Tamiflu, can be used if the virus is caught in the first 48 hours to lessen your symptoms, but if not taken early doctors say it is less effective. Dr. Goldstein says a lot of the time he recommends decongestants, Tylenol or Motrin and supportive care like rest and fluids.
Doctors say there are other treatment drugs for the flu like Xofluza, it’s still relatively new to the market. This new medicine needs just one dose versus Tamiflu’s twice-a-day pill for five days. Despite this, doctors at Memorial Health aren’t using the drug at this time.
“We have not been using Xofluza and the main reason we haven’t been using the Xofluza is secondary to cost,” said Dr. Jay Goldstein. “We believe it is about a $150. I’m not sure if the insurance will cover that or not versus Tamiflu, which is about $50.”
Overall, doctors say no matter the treatment they aren’t miracle drugs. They say your best protection is still to get the flu vaccine.
Doctors also say if you do get the flu you should avoid spreading it by staying home, covering your cough and washing your hands.