University of Leicester eBulletin

NICE Issues Guidance for Flu for NHS Patients in England and Wales

February 2003
No 61

University of Leicester researchers among medical scientists conducting investigation  

In its latest guidance documents on the use of ostletamivir and zanamivir for the treatment of 'flu the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE or 'the Institute') has recommended:

·        That, where it is known that either influenza A or influenza B is circulating in the community, zanamivir and oseltamivir are recommended for the treatment of at-risk adults and children who present with influenza-like illness (ILI) and who can start therapy within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. Amantadine is not recommended for the treatment of influenza.

Andrew Dillon, Chief Executive, commented on the flu drugs appraisal: “This guidance further increases the options available to health professionals when treating people who are considered to be 'at risk' when they develop 'flu. The message, though, for most people, who are not in one of the at risk categories, in treating flu remains the same: use over-the-counter medicines to treat the symptoms.”

The multi-disciplinary research team comprised David Turner, Dr Nicola Cooper, Dr Alex Sutton and Professor Keith Abrams of the Department of Epidemiology & Public Health at the University of Leicester and Professor Karl Nicholson, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, University of Leicester and Allan Wailoo, Health Economics Group, School of Health & Related Research, University of Sheffield.

Professor Abrams said: “Reviewing the worldwide evidence and developing a sophisticated mathematical model for such a complex, but common, disease as 'flu has taken us over 18 months, but it is already helping to inform NHS policy and future research priorities.”

NOTE TO NEWSDESK: For more information, please contact: Professor Keith R. Abrams, Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, Telephone +44 (0)116 252 3217, FAX +44 (0)116 252 3272, email, view

[University Home] [Press and Publications] [University Index A-Z][University Search][University Help]
Information supplied by: Barbara Whiteman
Last updated: February 2003
University Administration Web Maintainer

This document has been approved by the head of department or section.