The Golden Thread

Rare Tamiflu-resistant swine flu cluster reported in US.
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Author:  Siam [ Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Rare Tamiflu-resistant swine flu cluster reported in US.

Rare Tamiflu-resistant swine flu cluster reported in U.S.

Posted: 11/20/2009 01:35:47 PM PST
Updated: 11/20/2009 01:38:32 PM PST ... source=rss

ATLANTA — Four patients at a single hospital tested positive for a type of swine flu that is resistant to Tamiflu, health officials said Friday.

The cases reported at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, over six weeks make up the biggest cluster seen so far in the U.S.

Tamiflu — made by Switzerland's Roche Group — is one of two flu medicines that help against swine flu, and health officials have been closely watching for signs that the virus is mutating, making the drugs ineffective.

About 52 resistant cases have been reported in the world since April, including 15 in the U.S. Almost all in the U.S. were isolated, said officials with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The BBC reported another cluster of five Tamiflu-resistant cases this week in Wales, in the United Kingdom.

The CDC has sent three disease investigators to North Carolina to help in the investigation there, said Dave Daigle, a CDC spokesman. CDC testing confirmed the Tamiflu-resistant cases.

All four cases at the hospital were very ill patients in an isolated cancer unit on the hospital's ninth floor, and it is believed they all caught the flu while at the hospital, said Dr. Daniel Sexton, professor of medicine and director of the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network.

Three of the four patients died, and one is recovering, he said. Flu seems to have been a factor in each death, but they were very sick so it was hard to say that it was the primary cause, he added.

The first patient had been given Tamiflu before becoming ill with the virus, as a preventive measure. The three others were given Tamiflu after developing flu symptoms, he said.

The case is under investigation, but hospital officials said they have no evidence the cases represent a hospital-wide concern.

The North Carolina cluster is unusual, but "at this time we don't have any information that should raise concerns for the general population," said Dr. Alicia Frye, epidemiologist in the CDC's flu division, in a prepared statement.

The first reported instance of Tamiflu-resistant swine flu spreading from one person to another occurred about four months ago at a summer camp in western North Carolina, where two teenage girls — cabin mates — were diagnosed with the same drug-resistant strain. Health officials said at the time that the virus may have spread from one girl to the other, or it's possible that the girls got it from another camper.

Overall, CDC officials said Friday that swine flu cases appear to be declining throughout most of the U.S., with reports of swine flu illnesses widespread in 43 states last week, down from 46 the week before.

Author:  Crackajack [ Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rare Tamiflu-resistant swine flu cluster reported in US.

Researchers query Tamiflu results
December 9, 2009 - 12:34PM


A team of medical researchers, led by a Gold Coast academic, has queried the use of Tamiflu and criticised the secrecy of the pharmaceutical company making billions of dollars a year from the weapon of choice against influenza.

The joint investigation by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and the BBC's Channel Four found there is no clear evidence that Tamiflu prevents complications like pneumonia in healthy people.

The research team was led by Professor Chris Del Mar, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine, and Pro-Vice Chancellor of Research at Bond University on the Gold Coast.

Claims about the effectiveness of Tamiflu against complications have been a key factor in decisions by governments around the world to stockpile the drug as part of plans to combat a possible swine flu pandemic.

Prof Del Mar says the study has global implications.

"We are less certain now about the usefulness of this drug, and we realise we don't actually know as much about it as we thought we did," he said.

The pharmaceutical company Roche, which produces Tamiflu, has estimated sales of STG1.6 billion ($A2.88 billion) this year alone from the drug.

Prof Del Mar, an evidence-based medicine (EBM) specialist, is the Co-ordinating Editor of the Cochrane Collaboration - an independent not-for-profit organisation dedicated to making accurate information about the effects of healthcare readily available worldwide.

He said they realised the results of a widely-accepted earlier study into Tamiflu did not stand up to scrutiny.

"The data of that study is absolutely critical to the platform of evidence that Tamiflu is important in preventing the complications of influenza," he said.

However, Prof Del Mar said Roche refused to release the data unless the team signed unacceptable secrecy agreements.

"It makes us wonder what's there," he said.

"It was a secrecy clause which had to be itself secret - we wouldn't even be able to say we'd signed it."

Prof Del Mar believes it's time for the Australian government to re-evaluate its stance over the response to the swine flu pandemic, and its use of Tamiflu for seasonal influenza.

"My gut feeling is that we should probably be investing less in this sort of stuff (Tamiflu) and more in other measures like hand washing, masks... and isolation, which seem to be pretty effective," he said.

Comment is being sought from Roche.

Author:  Bluebonnet [ Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rare Tamiflu-resistant swine flu cluster reported in US.

"My gut feeling is that we should probably be investing less in this sort of stuff (Tamiflu) and more in other measures like hand washing, masks... and isolation, which seem to be pretty effective," he said.

Yep, yep, yep. Those of us bird fluies (is that a word?) have followed Tami and its resistance for a long time.

I must say, however, it worked really well with one of my grandsons. But then again - did he truly have H1N1? Tested positive on a rapid test - but who knows? :dunno

Thanks, Crackajack! Great find! :clap

Author:  Crackajack [ Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rare Tamiflu-resistant swine flu cluster reported in US.

I agree on just sticking with the basics Blue.

Interesting re: your grandson. Maybe it contains some useful elements in some situations. As you say, with the rapid test, who knows..

Fluies! lol. That might stick as a the most recent research genre!! I like it better that Flu-fers.

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