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February 13, 2007

Egypt: Latest bird flu deaths not Tamiflu resistant

Via Reuters: Latest bird flu deaths not Tamiflu resistant. But that must be cold comfort to the victims' families. Excerpt:

The two latest bird flu deaths in Egypt showed no signs of the mutant virus which is moderately resistant to the antiviral medicine Tamiflu and which killed three people in December, the health minister said on Tuesday.

Hatem el-Gabali also appealed for more international aid to help Africa deal with bird flu outbreaks, saying the continent had more difficult problems than Asia because of poverty.

Known as "294S", the mutated strain of the H5N1 virus was first detected in 2005 in a teenage girl in Vietnam who survived. The World Health Organisation (WHO) said in January the virus had resurfaced in two members of one family, a factory worker and his teenage niece, in a Nile Delta village in Egypt.

Gabali said the mutated virus also killed a third member of the same family in December.

"Tests ... confirmed our initial findings that in those three cases Tamiflu was not effective enough. But the case that followed and the one after showed that Tamiflu was effective," Gabali told reporters at a WHO conference on Global Pandemic Influenza Communications in Cairo.

Posted by dymaxion at February 13, 2007 09:16 PM

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