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AVIAN FLU: More resistance to Tamiflu

While the newspapers have been busy reporting recent deaths in Turkey from avian flu, few of them have picked up the news that two patients infected with the virus died after being given Tamiflu (oseltamivir), the antiviral that's considered our best hope in fighting bird flu. This resistance should be worrying for the US and UK governments that have stockpiled billions of dollars of the drug - but, of course, it's not. Despite the deaths, the World Health Organization has pronounced that Tamiflu is the 'best available treatment' for the H5N1 virus. It's natural, a spokesman said, to see occasional resistance to any drug.
True enough, it's just a pity that the drug doesn't work.


  • British Medical Journal, 2006; 332: 5