Tuesday, May 28, 2013

H7N9: Drug resistance in new China bird flu raises concern

The new bird flu strain that has killed 36 people in China has proved resistant to Tamiflu for the first time, a development scientists said was "concerning".

The H7N9 virus was found to be resistant to Roche's widely used flu drug in three out of 14 patients who were studied in detail by doctors from Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Tamiflu, which is given as a pill, belongs to a group of medicines known as neuraminidase inhibitors that currently offer the only known treatment option for bird flu. GlaxoSmithKline's inhaled medicine Relenza has the same mode of action.