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Bird flu virus resistant to Tamiflu
Seattle Post-Intelligencer ^ | October 14, 2005 | MALCOLM RITTER

Posted on 10/14/2005 4:34:28 PM PDT by neverdem

AP SCIENCE WRITER

NEW YORK -- Bird flu virus found in a Vietnamese girl was resistant to the main drug that's being stockpiled in case of a pandemic, a sign that it's important to keep a second drug on hand as well, a researcher said Friday.

He said the finding was no reason to panic.

The drug in question, Tamiflu, still attacks "the vast majority of the viruses out there," said Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Tokyo and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The drug, produced by Swiss-based Roche Holding AG, is in short supply as nations around the world try to stock up on it in case of a global flu pandemic.

Kawaoka said the case of resistant virus in the 14-year-old girl is "only one case, and whether that condition was something unique we don't know."

He also said it's not surprising to see some resistance to Tamiflu in treated individuals, because resistance has also been seen with human flu.

In lab tests, the girl's Tamiflu-resistant virus was susceptible to another drug, Relenza, which is made by GlaxoSmithKline.

Kawaoka and colleagues report the case in the Oct. 20 issue of the journal Nature, which released the study Friday. The researchers conclude that it might be useful to stockpile Relenza as well as Tamiflu.

There's no evidence that so-called H5N1 viruses - like the one recovered from the girl - are becoming generally resistant to the class of drugs that includes Tamiflu, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

Both Tamiflu and Relenza are being stockpiled by the U.S. government. Doctors have good reason to believe Tamiflu would be effective at combatting a pandemic strain of bird flu, although it's not clear how long people would have to be treated or what doses they'd need, said Dr. John Treanor of the University of Rochester.

In adults with mild cases of ordinary flu, Tamiflu speeds up recovery by a day or two, he said. Its effect on severe flu like bird flu isn't clear, he said.

The new report, while not surprising, shows scientists must find out more about how people with bird flu respond to Tamiflu and how often they shed drug-resistant virus, he said.

The shed virus could become a problem if it is transmitted to other people, he said. He noted that in the new report, as in prior studies, the resistant virus was less able to reproduce itself than normal virus was, which might cut down on the chance of transmission.

The girl, who had been caring for an older brother with the disease, had been taking low doses of Tamiflu as a preventive measure when the virus was isolated in late February. She later got sick and was given higher doses. She recovered and left the hospital in March.

Kawaoka said it's not clear whether the low preventive dose had encouraged the emergence of drug resistance.

Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University called the report important and said it shows the importance of watching for drug resistance.

"It is not unusual to find the occasional resistant virus," he said. "It could be just a biological oddity, or we could see this more frequently.

"This is a blip on the radar screen, and it surely does mean that we have to keep the radar operative," Schaffner said. "We have to keep testing more viruses."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; US: District of Columbia; US: Georgia
KEYWORDS: bioengineering; bioterror; bioterrorism; biowarfare; birdflu; tamiflu

1 posted on 10/14/2005 4:34:31 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem
I've got mixed feelings about the H5N1 virus. I'm fascinated by it and somewhat frightened by it. Yet, I'm completely powerless to do anything about it if it becomes a human pandemic.

Does it make any difference whether I stick my head in the sand? I dunno.

2 posted on 10/14/2005 4:46:41 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: neverdem

The text contradicts the headline.


3 posted on 10/14/2005 4:46:46 PM PDT by Stirner
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To: Dog Gone

Me too:)


4 posted on 10/14/2005 4:49:33 PM PDT by SE Mom (Keep an open mind; nothing will fall out.)
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To: Dog Gone

Hope for a vaccine. The entire world population won't get vaccinated because of limited supplies. We have the trial lawyers to thank for driving most of the vaccine companies out of business in the U.S.. If not vaccinated, avoid crowds, contact with the ill and/or the public in general. If it happens, it won't be pretty.


5 posted on 10/14/2005 4:58:28 PM PDT by Neoliberalnot (Conservatism: doing what is right instead of what is easy)
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To: Dog Gone; Mother Abigail; Judith Anne

Wasn't there an article not to long ago that mentioned partial Tamiflu resistance?


6 posted on 10/14/2005 4:59:02 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: neverdem
not too long ago
7 posted on 10/14/2005 5:02:04 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: neverdem
The girl, who had been caring for an older brother with the disease, had been taking low doses of Tamiflu as a preventive measure when the virus was isolated in late February. She later got sick and was given higher doses. She recovered and left the hospital in March.

Good thing we're being kept right up to date on this, isn't it?

8 posted on 10/14/2005 5:02:50 PM PDT by pipecorp (Let's have a CRUSADE! , the muslims have already started. 1700 replies and not a single post!)
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To: Dog Gone

Instead of trying to find a human vaccine, they should be trying to come up with a vaccine for chickens and turkeys. It's more likely to wipe out our poultry industry than our human population, and if it mutates so that it can be easily transmitted from human to human, the vaccine they are working on now won't necessarily work.


9 posted on 10/14/2005 5:34:02 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: El Gato; JudyB1938; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Robert A. Cook, PE; lepton; LadyDoc; jb6; tiamat; PGalt; ..
Indian Company to Make Generic Version of Flu Drug Tamiflu

Europe's Avian Flu Experts Hold Crisis Talks

FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list. Anyone can post any unrelated link as they see fit.

10 posted on 10/14/2005 5:38:18 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: Dog Gone

There has been some blog chatter that the new 3M P100 or N100 masks could provide 100+ hours of protection. They are not expensive or hard to get at the moment. I bought a couple as a "just in case" measure. Even if the pandemic never happens I can always use one in my shop!


11 posted on 10/14/2005 5:40:24 PM PDT by Wiseghy (Discontent is the want of self-reliance: it is infirmity of will. Ralph Waldo Emerson)
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To: neverdem
Wasn't there an article not to long ago that mentioned partial Tamiflu resistance?

Yes, but we're really all guessing at this point. Until the virus breaks through to sustained human to human transmission we can neither make a vaccine nor judge what drugs will be most effective against it.

The limited cases where humans have acquired this are too few to conduct any sort of clinical trial.

12 posted on 10/14/2005 5:49:13 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Dog Gone
Here is a article for all it's worth.
(http://www.healingdaily.com/exercise/hydrogen-peroxide-in-ears.htm)
I have been using ( 3 % solution hydrogen peroxide ) in my ears for the last year and have not had a cold or flu at all ( put drops in each ear for about 5 to 10 mins , and let it drain out ( DO NOT GET HYDROGEN PEROXIDE IN YOUR EYES ).
I would advise to go seek a doctors advise before using hydrogen peroxide in your ears.
I did onetime had a infection or pimple in my ear, and when I put the hydrogen peroxide in my ear, there was this pain in my ear.
13 posted on 10/14/2005 6:00:08 PM PDT by Prophet in the wilderness (PSALM 53 : 1 The FOOL hath said in his heart , There is no GOD .)
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To: neverdem

Perhaps some bio-engineering by the Chinese?


14 posted on 10/14/2005 6:11:07 PM PDT by Thunder90
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To: Neoliberalnot

"Hope for a vaccine. The entire world population won't get vaccinated because of limited supplies. We have the trial lawyers to thank for driving most of the vaccine companies out of business in the U.S.. If not vaccinated, avoid crowds, contact with the ill and/or the public in general. If it happens, it won't be pretty."

Amen,


15 posted on 10/14/2005 6:36:43 PM PDT by HonestConservative (Bless our Servicemen!)
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To: neverdem

This bird flu sounds scary ... but so did "10,000+ dead" from hurricane Katrina. I pray this is media hype.


16 posted on 10/14/2005 6:46:28 PM PDT by manwiththehands
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To: Wiseghy
Yes, now is a good time to buy stocks in those companies who make those masks.
Those 3M masks might be in short supply if this bird/flu virus gets a hold of the worlds population.
Another thing that I buy are those sanitary handy wipes.
I use those handy wipes to wash/wipe my hands and face before I eat at a restaurant.
A good hygiene regiment will help, did you know that your heart can get infected from bacteria from infected teeth and gums ?

http://www.periocare.info/Search_Folder/periodontal_disease_and_heart_disease.htm.

Even your tooth brush is laden with bacteria, and when you brush your teeth with a tooth brush with bacteria on it, the bristles can cut into the skin on your gums, and that bacteria gets into your blood stream and goes right to your heart and major organs.
I put my tooth brush in a cup or glass of hydrogen peroxide before I brush my teeth to clean it, and when I go to brush my teeth, I run water over the brush to rinse out the hydrogen peroxide.
You can even gargle with hydrogen peroxide ( you still should get advise from a doctor or dentist before you do this )... you put about a cap full of peroxide in a cup, and dilute the peroxide with water, and swish it and gargle ( DO NOT SWOLLOW THE WATER AND PEROXIDE ) and spit it out, and rise your mouth thoroughly with water.
17 posted on 10/14/2005 7:54:32 PM PDT by Prophet in the wilderness (PSALM 53 : 1 The FOOL hath said in his heart , There is no GOD .)
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To: manwiththehands

No it is Bush's fault.


18 posted on 10/14/2005 9:06:57 PM PDT by pterional
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To: Dog Gone; neverdem

My theory is that it's time to quit depriving myself of chocolate. Eat, drink and .....


19 posted on 10/14/2005 9:14:53 PM PDT by hocndoc (Choice is the # 1 killer in the US. http://www.lifeethics.org/www.lifeethics.org/index.html)
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To: Prophet in the wilderness

Unless other people blow their noses on your toothbrush or you use it to clean the toilet, why worry?


20 posted on 10/15/2005 1:46:43 AM PDT by drlevy88
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To: Prophet in the wilderness

That's great for bubbling earwax out, but you don't catch colds and flus through your ear.


21 posted on 10/15/2005 1:47:37 AM PDT by drlevy88
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To: drlevy88
Because the tooth brush grows bacteria or gets its bacteria from around the area were it is placed.
22 posted on 10/15/2005 5:43:35 AM PDT by Prophet in the wilderness (PSALM 53 : 1 The FOOL hath said in his heart , There is no GOD .)
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To: Prophet in the wilderness

Excellent point.

In terms of a flu pandemic, I might suggest that folks buy a few of the cheap N100 paper masks and stash them away. Remember that folks wore those to get around in Hong Kong during the SARS scare. Having a mask could enable a person to remain mobile and relatively safe during the peak weeks of a pandemic.

A 50% fatality rate is nothing to...uhhhh...sneeze at.


23 posted on 10/15/2005 11:25:33 AM PDT by Wiseghy (Discontent is the want of self-reliance: it is infirmity of will. Ralph Waldo Emerson)
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To: neverdem
Tamiflu tablets split and administered twice as frequently (half a dose every six hours) for active cases may still work. The problem may not be true resistance but ability of the virus to regenerate quickly between doses. Usually, one tablet a day (75 mg) is given for prevention and one every 12 hours for an active case. I am just leaving now and don't have time to get the links. Might be worth keeping this in mind if it pans out. This is not medical advice and I am not formally trained in medicine.
24 posted on 10/15/2005 11:36:21 AM PDT by steve86 (@)
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To: BearWash

I guess it is actually a capsule, not a tablet. Can still split the dose. There is a suspension form available also.


25 posted on 10/15/2005 11:54:36 AM PDT by steve86 (@)
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To: Wiseghy
Yes... good advise.
Also but those sanitary handy wipes to wipe your hands and face.
26 posted on 10/15/2005 8:22:12 PM PDT by Prophet in the wilderness (PSALM 53 : 1 The FOOL hath said in his heart , There is no GOD .)
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To: Prophet in the wilderness
opps,,,,, typo.
Correction: Also buy those sanitary handy wipes to wahs your face and hands with.
27 posted on 10/15/2005 8:23:08 PM PDT by Prophet in the wilderness (PSALM 53 : 1 The FOOL hath said in his heart , There is no GOD .)
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To: Wiseghy

I found 3M N95 Masks at http://www.3MMasks.com for reasonable proces. Other sites too. I remember the SARS days when these masks were 5 dollars each so I bought some too early. I am not happy that you cannot buy Tamiflu without a prescription.


28 posted on 10/18/2005 4:20:35 AM PDT by 3M Masks (3M N95 Masks for Bird Flu)
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