Sunday, July 12, 2009

Tamiflu-resistant "swine flu"?

I haven't been updating my UN reports on confirmed H1N1 infection because the numbers for Korea seem stuck at 202, which is not correct. On July 5, Yonhap reported 286, including two workers in the quarantine office at Incheon International Airport. The Korea Herald reports 367 as of July 10, with schools being closed (as happened in Japan) when a case is identified.

On the news front, it appears that Tamiflu-resistant H1N1 has developed, but authorities are not worried about that just yet:
In the last two weeks, health officials have identified three patients -- one each in Denmark, Japan and Hong Kong -- with a virus resistant to Tamiflu, known generically as oseltamivir.

The cases in Denmark and Japan occurred in patients who had been taking the drug prophylactically; the Hong Kong case involved a girl who had traveled from San Francisco and never been given oseltamivir, suggesting that she contracted a resistant virus.

Viruses from all three patients displayed the same mutation producing the resistance, and officials believe it is a spontaneous mutation, not a recombination with seasonal viruses, many of which are resistant to the drug.

All three viruses were susceptible to the antiviral drug Relenza, known generically as zanamivir.

The WHO is not particularly concerned about the mutations, Fukuda said, because there is no evidence that the resistant virus is spreading.
The same article says that the WHO is telling authorities in high-outbreak countries like the US or the UK to just assume H1N1-like symptoms are in fact H1N1 instead of burdening the already overburdened lab system that is checking each of these. 

And finally, Honolulu media is reporting on a group of students who had a great visit to Korea despite some of them being quarantined after some of them tested positive for H1N1.  

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1 comment:

  1. "The WHO is not particularly concerned about the mutations, Fukuda said, because there is no evidence that the resistant virus is spreading"

    - sensible. with the short genome of the virus, the mutation in the virus may (or may not) alter its physiology that could result to its inability to replicate.

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