WHO: No Tamiflu for swine flu
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: October 3rd, 2009
Healthy people who catch swine flu but show only mild symptoms should not be given Tamiflu, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said. The advice contradicts British policy on the issue, which has seen hundreds of thousands of doses of the antiviral given to people with the virus. Today's advice, published on the WHO website, said most patients were experiencing typical flu symptoms and would get better within a week. It said Tamiflu (also called oseltamivir) and another antiviral Relenza (also called zanamivir) should not be given to healthy people who have only mild symptoms. The latest WHO advice, from a panel of international experts, comes as new figures show that 45,986 courses of antivirals were given to patients in England in the week ending August 18. In the previous week, 90,363 courses of antivirals were given out. There have been fears that mass use of Tamiflu will encourage the virus to become resistant to the antiviral. Researchers have also expressed concern over the side effects of the drug, including sickness, nightmares and insomnia in children. A team from Oxford University said earlier this month children with mild symptoms should not be given the antiviral to combat swine flu and urged the Department of Health to urgently rethink its policy.