Doctors worldwide looking into innovative new flu treatments

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(KKTV) - As deadly flu cases continue to tick upwards, doctors are working to come up with new treatments.

As the thousands of people stricken with the virus year can attest, this year's vaccine has been less effective than others in years past. Formulating the flu vaccine in any given year is a guessing game: according to the CDC, the vaccine is created to fight whatever three or four strains research indicates will be most common. Some years, like this one, the research gets it wrong.

Nonetheless, doctors still recommend the population get a yearly flu shot.

Meanwhile, according to a CBS News report, a Japanese company has created an experimental drug that could kill the virus in a single day -- and in a single dose. That's much faster than Tamiflu, which is the most popular treatment in the U.S.

Doctors are also looking into using UV lights to kill germs; specifically, a particular kind of ultraviolet light that doesn't harm the skin or eyes. UV lights are already used in hospitals to zap germs, but doctors say if you can get it into more places it could be pretty effective against airborne germs.

"We could see it being used as overhead lamps in doctors' waiting rooms or schools or any type of hospital or airports, for example," Dr. David Brenner told CBS.

It's not clear when this type of UV treatment might be available in the U.S., but as for the Japanese drug, if fast-tracked for FDA approval it would hit the shelves at the earliest next flu season.