More Countries Reporting Tamiflu-Resistant Flu Viruses
The number of countries with reported cases of Tamiflu-resistant H1N1 influenza viruses has increased to 20, the World Health Organization said Thursday in an update posted on its Web site. Many countries have stockpiled Tamiflu (oseltamivir) as a front-line defense in the event of a flu pandemic.
The list of countries reporting Tamiflu-resistant influenza now includes Japan, which uses more of the drug than any other nation, the Canadian Press reported.
Since January, resistant flu viruses have been detected in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Canada, the United States and 15 European countries. Rates of resistance vary from country to country. The overall resistance rate in Europe is about 19 percent but is much higher in some countries, such as in France (40 percent). The rate of resistance in Canada and the United States is about 8t percent.
Experts noted that H1N1 viruses that carry the genetic mutation that protects them against Tamiflu are still susceptible to the drugs zanamivir (Relenza), amantadine, and rimantadine, the CP reported.
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