Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Resistant Bird Flu Growing in Vietnam - Helped by Drugs

symptoms birdflu bird flu avian asian Congratulations to Vietnam for being approved and licensed as a producer of Tamiflu or Oseltamivir a neuraminidase inhibitor.

Roche Holding AG the sole patent for holders for Tamiflu who once stated that the manufacture of Tamiflu an avian bird flu inhibitor was too complex to allow others to produce it, has now granted permission to a third world country.

Serious problems here though, as there are already Tamiflu resistant H5N1 strains of birdflu appearing, according to William Chui, honorary associate professor with the department of pharmacology at the Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong. Chui has also said general viral resistance to Tamiflu is growing in Japan, where doctors habitually prescribe the drug to fight the common influenza.

We've already seen other antibiotics made useless because they were prescribed for illnesses they can't even treat such as colds. Now, with the possibility of a major flu pandemic, we're facing the loss of the effectiveness of the very antiviral drug many nations are stockpiling to treat it.

Worse that this it has become common practice in third world countries to overuse anti viral drugs, even resorting to feeding the drugs in the drinking water of poultry.

Once Vietnam has the capability to produce vast quantities of Tamiflu, how long will the symptoms of a resistant strain of avian bird flu take to appear?