Dangerous drug may hold key to killing flu virus

CLEVELAND - Meth is a toxic drug that kills brain cells and weakens the heart, but new research suggests it may also have flu-fighting power.

A team of scientists from the National Health Research Institutes in Taiwan studied how methamphetamine interacts with Influenza A virus in lung cells. 

Researchers took cultures of human lung epithelial cells, which they exposed to different concentrations of meth, and then infected them with an H1N1 strain of human influenza A.

Within 30 to 48 hours after infection, the meth-treated cells were found to have a much lower concentration of the virus than the control group, the researchers reported.

Also, this reduction occurred in a dose-dependent manner, meaning the more meth, the less the virus.

Of course, no doctor would recommend that you take meth to get over the flu, but researchers believe this study could help them find safe compounds of the drug. 

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