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Healthy people with swine flu do not need Tamiflu, says WHO

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Owen Bowcott
London Guardian
Saturday, August 22, 2009

Healthy people who catch swine flu need not be given Tamiflu, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced. The advice appears to contradict the UK’s policy of making the antiviral drug readily available to those who call the national pandemic helpline or approach their GPs.

Hundreds of thousands of doses have been given to British patients although the majority have not been severely ill. Fears have been voiced that mass use of Tamiflu will make the virus resistant to it.

The latest advice from the WHO said: “Worldwide, most patients infected with the pandemic virus continue to experience typical influenza symptoms and fully recover within a week, even without any form of medical treatment. Healthy patients with uncomplicated illness need not be treated with antivirals.”

Previously the WHO had said antivirals should be given to patients with “serious progressive illness”. The new guidance is the first time it has specifically advised against otherwise healthy individuals being given the drug.

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This article was posted: Saturday, August 22, 2009 at 3:51 am





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