Health authority suspects two patients have resistance to Tamilflu

At a meeting of the Steering board on A/H1N1 prevention on July 8 in Hanoi, the president of the National Institute of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Dr. Nguyen Van Kinh, said due to a suspicion concerning two patients having resistance to the antiviral drug Tamilflu, his institute is studying the genes of H1N1 virus from them.

If it is proved the two patients are resistant to the drug, they will be first two cases in Vietnam

If it is proved they are resistant to the drug, they will be first two cases in Vietnam.

The two patients had returned to Vietnam from Australia. They have been treated at the institute for seven days, but they are still infected, while other people normally stop having a fever within two to three days after taking the drug. 

Tamiflu-resistant H1N1 flu does not appear to be spreading in a sustained or worrisome way, a World Health Organization official said on July 7.

“At this point we are not recommending any clinical changes to the approach in treating patients,” the WHO’s acting assistant director-general, Keiji Fukuda, said.

He was responding to the discovery of drug-resistant H1N1 virus in three people in Denmark, Japan and Hong Kong.

In addition, of 19 people receiving treatment at the institute, three groups of people contracted the disease due to close contact with their overseas infected relatives.

The head of Ho Chi Minh City’s Medical Affairs Office, Phan Van Nghiem, announced three high school students in Ho Chi Minh City have been infected with swine flu.

They had been on a high school trip to Australia and arrived back on flight SQ 186 on July 4, transiting at Singapore.  Health workers at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport discovered and quarantined them.

A total of 149 airline passengers, including 39 high school students and 26 university students, who traveled on the same flight will remain under observation.

The city’s Department of Health advised these passengers to isolate themselves at homes and not go to public places, and reduce close contact with pregnant women, the elderly and children, as they are most vulnerable to severe effects from the new flu strain.

If they present flu symptoms, such as fever, cough and sore throat, they should report to their nearest health clinic.

As high school graduates are gathering in Hanoi, HCMC and other large cities for university entrance exams, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has worked closely with the Ministry of Education and Training to prepare quarantine and treatment rooms for students.

The MoH also warned students to apply hygiene measures, like washing hands with soap or gel, and eating and drinking in moderation.

Students taking the exams were warned to inform examination councils if they experience any flu-like symptoms.

The MoH reported on Wednesday that there were 11 new cases of A/H1N1 – seven in the south, one in the central region and three in the north.

This raises the country’s tally to 259 confirmed cases. Of them, 186 have recovered and discharged from hospitals.

Due to the influx of people to hospitals for tests of the flu, any tests must be under a doctors’ prescription, the MoH warned.

Tests should only be conducted on people who have symptoms of flu, as otherwise it is a waste of time and money, which are worth US$200 each.

MoH said the A/H1N1 flu epidemic had not yet shown any signs of breaking out into the community at large, nor had it claimed any lives so far in Vietnam.

According to the WHO, as of July 7, the flu virus had infected 94,512 people in 135 countries and territories, killing 429.

Fellow ASEAN member Thailand has reported nine deaths and Brunei and the Philippines one each.

Source; SGGP, Tuoi Tre, TTX - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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