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Program ID: Innovation Anthology #345
Program Date: 10/14/2010
Program Category: Aboriginal , Health and Medicine

Inhaler Prevents Spread of Flu

When a sick person coughs, fine droplets of germ laden mucous hang in the air, sometimes for hours. That’s mainly how airborne diseases like tuberculosis and influenza are spread.

But a new inhaler could change that and significantly reduce the threat of global flu pandemics.

Developed by Alberta lung researcher Dr. Malcolm King, the inhaler changes how mucous behaves when it’s coughed out.

DR. MALCOLM KING: So if a person is coming down with the symptoms of the flu, this new drug treatment that we’ve developed, they would take the drug by an inhaler and the properties of the mucous would change so that it would become a little bit more cohesive and less likely to form very fine droplets. Instead they would form smaller numbers of larger droplets which are not nearly as dangerous because they settle out. So we want to take out those very fine droplets of aerosol from the equation.

Dr. Malcolm King says it will take three to five years to complete clinical trials and get the inhaler to market.

Thanks today to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research



Dr. Malcolm King

Dr. Malcolm King


  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research
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