Monday, June 25, 2007

Has Indonesia's H5N1 Strain Become Resistant To Tamiflu?

For many countries of the world, Tamiflu is their one and only true medical defence against the H5N1 virus. Hundreds of millions of Tamiflu pill courses have been stockpiled, and countries like Australia have supplies ready to be flown into the H5N1 "hot zone" Indonesia within 24 hours, if needed.

But an Australian researcher claims the Indonesian H5N1 virus is not as susceptiable to Tamiflu as it once was :

Jennifer McKimm-Breschkin says laboratory testing shows the viruses from Indonesia are 20 to 30 times less susceptible to the drug as compared to H5N1 viruses that circulated in Cambodia a couple of years ago.

...she says they may help to explain the high death toll from H5N1 in Indonesia, where 80 of 100 patients have died of the disease.

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