Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

So there is a terrible flu making its way through Tokyo. High fevers that can take you out for a week or so. I've been in bed the last few days with this flu. Have you noticed that the flu seems to get worse every year? I seem to have more flu days every year. I wonder if the flu will become a debilitating problem for our global viral village? I went to the doctor yesterday and he gave me Tamiflu. It's a relatively new drug that fights the flu virus. I think I started taking it a bit too late to have maximum impact, but I looked it up on the Net and it sounds pretty cool.

Neuraminidase (noor-uh-MIN-ih-dase) inhibitors treat the cause of influenza infection by inhibiting the critical neuraminidase protein on the surface of the virus.
They have a cool animation on the web page. One more reason to love Google. You can pass the time in bed after a visit to the doctor's office googling all of the drugs you get. You can also check whether your doctor knows what he's doing.

So I hope this flu gets better soon since I have the go to Davos the day after tomorrow. I remember the last time I was in Davos I had to walk for miles through a blizzard...


you may find this integrated medical search engine useful (i used to work there).. Skolar MD (stanford med school funded internet company)

Skolar MD

you can get a free trial. looks up real medical book and drug info on any drugs, interactions, side effects etc.

i saw this under pill book under patient info there: might be a similar or same drug

"Oseltamivir is the first pill approved to treat both type A and B influenza. It is thought to work by interfering with a virus enzyme called neuraminidase; this interference limits the spread of virus particles through the respiratory tract. In studies, people taking the drug for 5 days got better 1.3 days sooner than those taking a placebo (sugar pill). Oseltamivir is only prescribed for adults who have had flu symptoms for no more than 2 days. It is also being studied for flu prevention. This drug is broken down in the liver. "

Joi - yea, something bad is definitely going around. My wife has been sick with the flu for over two weeks, and this last Friday she became so de-hydrated we almost took her to the hospital. I have never seen her this sick in the 11 years we have been together. I've somehow managed to survive this with minor headaches, fever and soar throat, and upset stomach.

Al. Skolar looks very cool. Thanks for the link.

Paul, you should be careful. My house (sis, brother-in-law, their kids and Mizuka) all went down for the count over the holidays and I survived with minor cold symptoms. Then just when I thought I had survived, the flu came for me. I probably picked it up somewhere else, but be careful and avoid crowded spaces.

I hate the train during flu season...

"....You can also check whether your doctor knows what he's doing..." Hilarious. Brave New World indeed.

I am 52 years old and for the last two years I have begun taking the flu vaccine shot in the Fall. I haven't gotten flu since, and always used to.

Can Tamiflu prevent atypical pneumonia - the virus thats going around Asia?

Date: 21 Mar 2003
From: ProMED-mail
Source: Health Canada 21 Mar 2003 [edited]

To date no antiviral medications have been developed
specifically to treat metapneumovirus.