‘Drug resistant’ swine flu probed
About Health –
Tamiflu is used to treat swine flu
Health officials are investigating the possible person-to-person spread of a Tamiflu-resistant strain of swine flu.
The strain has infected a small number of patients at the University Hospital Wales, in Cardiff, all of whom had serious underlying health conditions.
One patient apparently developed resistance to the antiviral drug, and the strain was then passed on to others at the hospital.
If confirmed, this would be the first case of its kind in Europe.
There have been several dozen reports around the world of people developing resistance to Tamiflu while taking the drug.
But there has only been one case of person-to-person transmission of a Tamiflu-resistant strain, between two people at a US summer camp.
All the University Hospital Wales patients are said to be recovering in controlled environments – so there is no risk to anyone else.
And health officials say tests are being carried out to confirm exactly what happened.
The UK has bought enough doses of Tamiflu, which can shorten the duration of swine flu and reduce the risk of complications, for half the population.
And any spread of a Tamiflu resistant strain of the illness would be a serious public health concern.