Tamiflu, Relenza: Will They Protect Your Family from H5N1 Bird Flu?
Doubts arise as W.H.O. builds supply of millions of doses of Tamiflu.
At least some strains of H5N1 avian influenza virus are resistant to the antiflu drug Tamiflu.
These strains might respond better to a second flu drug, Relenza. Furthermore, the available stocks of Tamiflu fall far short of what would be needed in a pandemic.
According to a University of Tokyo study Avian flu: Isolation of drug-resistant H5N1 virus appearing in the journal Nature, six out of ten virus samples tested were highly resistant to Tamiflu (oseltamivir).
"Further investigation is necessary to determine the prevalence of oseltamivir-resistant H5N1 viruses among patients treated with this drug," concluded the authors. "Although our findings are based on a virus from only a single patient, they raise the possibility that it might be useful to stockpile zanamivir as well as oseltamivir in the event of an H5N1 influenza pandemic. They also highlight the importance of monitoring the emergence of drug resistance in H5N1 isolates from patients treated with neuraminidase inhibitors."
Hospitals may help spread flu pandemic
U.S. hospitals could contribute to the spread of influenza during a pandemic because most do not follow good hygiene practices, according to this Reuters report.
U.S. probes deaths of children who used Tamiflu
The "most alarming" psychiatric events included two cases in which a 12-year-old and a 13-year-old jumped out of the second-floor windows of their homes after receiving two doses of Tamiflu. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it was "concerning" that 32 psychiatric events, such as hallucinations and abnormal behavior, also had been reported in children who took Tamiflu.
U.S. worries about counterfeit flu drugs.
Nature 437, 1108 (20 October 2005) | doi: 10.1038/4371108a
Tamiflu, Relenza: Will They Protect Your Family from H1N1 Swine Flu?
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