Navigation Links
CDC: Flu Drugs Should Be 1st Choice for Pregnant Women With Swine Flu

Rapid use of antivirals such as Tamiflu best for this high-risk group, agency says

THURSDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. health officials said they're seeing some complications among pregnant women as the swine flu continues to spread across the country, and that this high-risk group needs to take antivirals as soon as infection is suspected.

"Pregnant women are at higher risk of complications of influenza, whether it's the seasonal influenza or pandemics of the past. We are also seeing some severe complications in women with this year's novel H1N1 virus," Dr. Anne Schuchat, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's interim deputy director for science and public health program, said during a Tuesday afternoon teleconference.

The CDC is investigating 20 cases of pregnant women with the swine flu, several of whom experienced complications, Schuchat said. Complications can include pneumonia, dehydration and premature birth.

"It is very important that doctors who are caring for pregnant women they suspect may have influenza, that they issue prompt treatment with antiviral medicines," she said.

Doctors can be reluctant to treat pregnant women with antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu and Relenza, and pregnant women may be reluctant to take them out of fear that they may pose a risk during pregnancy, Schuchat said. "Experts who have looked into this situation strongly say that the benefits of using antiviral drugs to treat influenza in a pregnant woman outweigh the theoretical concerns about the drugs," she said.

Of the three swine-flu related deaths in the United States, one involved a 33-year-old pregnant woman from Texas who had other health problems before she was infected with the virus.

Schuchat said Monday that federal health officials were shifting their focus from individual cases of infection to trying to project what is likely to occur with the virus in the fall. Because the new virus -- technically called H1N1 -- is a highly unusual genetic mix of bird, pig and human viruses, health officials worry that it could continue to mutate and return in a more virulent form for next winter's flu season.

The CDC is concerned with what will happen as this new virus moves into the Southern Hemisphere, where the flu season is about to start. The agency is also preparing for the virus' likely return in the fall to the Northern Hemisphere, Schuchat said.

As of Wednesday, there were 3,352 confirmed cases in 45 states and the District of Columbia, with three confirmed deaths. On Tuesday, the CDC said 116 people were hospitalized with swine flu. All three patients who have died in the United States had underlying health problems before their infection with the flu.

Testing has found that the swine flu virus remains susceptible to two common antiviral drugs, Tamiflu and Relenza, according to the CDC.

Schuchat said Monday that the confirmed cases were likely just the tip of the iceberg. Many people who become ill don't seek medical attention and are never tested for this strain of flu. "The numbers we are reporting are a minority of the actual infections that are occurring in the country," she said.

Reporting Monday in the journal Science, researchers from the World Health Organization said the swine flu epidemic has pandemic potential and is likely to be comparable to other 20th century pandemics -- at least in terms of its spread.

The report also suggested that the true number of -- largely unreported -- swine flu infections in Mexico, the outbreak's epicenter, possibly had already reached 32,000 by the end of April. The World Health Organization's official tally for Mexico stood Thursday at 2,059 confirmed human infections, including 56 deaths.

The United States has now surpassed Mexico -- believed to be the source of the outbreak -- as the country most affected by the epidemic, according to WHO statistics. As of Thursday, the agency was reporting 6,497 confirmed cases of swine flu in 33 countries, with Canada, Spain and the United Kingdom having the most cases outside of the United States and Mexico.

Meanwhile in Mexico, federal health officials said Tuesday that the worst seemed to be over despite more deaths. The country's death toll rose Tuesday to 58 deaths and 2,282 confirmed cases of swine flu -- a rise of two deaths and 223 more cases since Monday. But Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova said this reflects a testing backlog: The last confirmed case was May 8, the Associated Press reported.

Also on Tuesday, one WHO expert expressed support for the more selective use of antiviral medicines such as Tamiflu and Relenza. As reported by the AP, Dr. Nikki Shindo said that whereas some European countries are using these drugs "aggressively" throughout the population, "countries like Mexico and the United States, they are trying to save the treatment for patients with underlying conditions and also the other groups at risk, such as pregnant women."

Swiss drug maker Roche Holding AG said it was donating to the WHO enough Tamiflu for 5.65 million people.

U.S. Human Cases of H1N1 Flu Infection
(As of May 13, 2009, 11:00 AM ET)
States # of
Alabama 9  
Arizona 187  
California 221  
Colorado 44  
Connecticut 33  
Delaware 54  
Florida 58  
Georgia 8  
Hawaii 6  
Idaho 3  
Illinois 592  
Indiana 70  
Iowa 55  
Kansas 23  
Kentucky** 10  
Louisiana 33  
Maine 6  
Maryland 23  
Massachusetts 107  
Michigan 134  
Minnesota 31  
Missouri 18  
Montana 1  
Nebraska 21  
Nevada 21  
New Hampshire 17  
New Jersey 8  
New Mexico 44  
New York 211  
North Carolina 12  
Ohio 11  
Oklahoma 22  
Oregon 74  
Pennsylvania 22  
Rhode Island 7  
South Carolina 32  
South Dakota
Utah 72  
Washington 176 1
Washington, D.C. 9  
TOTAL*(45) 3352 cases 3 deaths
*includes the District of Columbia
**One case is resident of Ky. but currently hospitalized in Ga.

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

More information

For more on swine flu, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: May 12, 2009, teleconference with Anne Schuchat, M.D., interim deputy director, science and public health program, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Associated Press

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. New review suggests caution on drugs to raise good cholesterol
2. Can cancer drugs combine forces?
3. Study provides hope that some transplant patients could live free of antirejection drugs
4. Study provides hope that some transplant patients could live free of anti-rejection drugs
5. RA Drugs Linked to Slight Skin Cancer Risk
6. Report on patients access to cancer drugs uses flawed methods to reached flawed conclusions
7. Rock N Roll: Sex, Drugs and an Early Exit
8. Australian-led international study shows blood pressure drugs cut death rate in type 2 diabetes
9. Consumer Reports Analysis: Drugs for Nerve Pain, Fibromyalgia Effective, But Not Always Best
10. Are Bargaining Groups Hired by Independent Drugstores Causing Payment Delays to Pharmacies?
11. 2 drugs equally effective for heart patients undergoing angioplasty, Mayo study finds
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
CDC: Flu Drugs Should Be 1st Choice for Pregnant Women With Swine Flu
(Date:10/9/2015)... CA (PRWEB) , ... October 09, 2015 , ... ... Switzerland for highly sought after internships at the pre-eminent organization in global health: ... dedicated to eliminating social and health disparities. These internships are a mechanism for ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... ... October 09, 2015 , ... Smoke alarms can save lives. In fact, according ... of dying in reported home fires in half. As part of Fire Prevention Week, ... property installed and maintained. , Half of home fire deaths result from fires reported ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... ... October 09, 2015 , ... On Saturday, September 26, 2015, 48-year-old MS ... in Madrid, Spain. Representing both the USA and Sweden in the Speed and Power ... Am Front Crosses, she was awarded 1 Silver and 4 Gold Medals. , “I ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... ... 09, 2015 , ... Prescription Hope, the fastest growing pharmacy ... to save money on the high cost of their prescription medications through their ... and families can receive their medications delivered direct from over 180 U.S.-based pharmaceutical ...
(Date:10/9/2015)... ... October 09, 2015 , ... Deadly, record-smashing ... Carolina Community Foundation (CCCF) in Columbia, South Carolina. In response, the Foundation has ... flood victims – both short and long term. 100% of monies donated will ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
... at the University of Aberdeen in the UK say in ... are linked to increased risk of asthma in kids//. The ... same team showed that low vitamin E in mothers was ... ,In this study researchers followed 1,000 children at five ...
... By performing simple clinical maneuvers to improve donor lung ... (SALT) protocol, researchers significantly increased the// number of available ... function, length of hospital stay or survival. ... 2006 of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical ...
... in the Sun's brightness over the past millennium have ... to a review of existing results and new calculations// ... Germany. ,The review, led by Peter Foukal (Heliophysics, ... Among the coauthors is Tom Wigley of the National ...
... supplies shrink and new infectious agents threaten blood ... by implementing// transfusion alternatives in conjunction with blood ... that can be taken by individual physicians and ... for the Advancement of Blood Management's (SABM) Fifth ...
... heart attack patient, who spent nearly 2 hours in the waiting ... a coroner's jury.// ,Beatrice Vance, 49, died of a ... deviations from the standard of care that a reasonable person would ... the Vista Medical Center in Waukegan. A spokeswoman of that center ...
... city schoolgirls have been developing culturally sensitive drawings ... children are likely to take offense and react ... over traditional written descriptions of provocative social situations," ... pediatric psychologist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia ...
Cached Medicine News:
(Date:10/9/2015)... DIEGO , Oct. 9, 2015 Ansun ... (Infectious Disease Society of America ) regarding the compassionate ... transplant patient on a respirator who was co-infected with ... a five-day course of therapy, O 2 requirement ... the patient was able to go off the respirator ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... October 9, 2015 ® ... diagnostic colonoscopy. The NOCT study also assessed the ... --> ® ) in adult patients ... study also assessed the compliance, safety, patient acceptability ... today announced positive top line results for its ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... PITTSBURGH , Oct. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... pharmaceutical company, will host a conference call and webcast ... ET to review the value to be created for ... TASE) through Mylan,s offer to acquire the company. During ... outlines the compelling proposition for Perrigo shareholders. Mylan,s offer ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
... IDEV Technologies, Inc. (IDEV) today announced the firm ... Australia,s regulatory agency for medical drugs and devices, for ... and peripheral procedures. "We are pleased to ... SUPERA VERITAS in the Australian market later this year," ...
... 28, 2011 Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... evaluating carfilzomib, a selective, next-generation proteasome inhibitor, at the ... Paris, France. "The data we are ... an important new treatment option for patients with multiple ...
Cached Medicine Technology:
Hydragel K20 is Sebia's quality line of manual agarose gel electrophoresis products. Samples are applied utilizing the same patented applicator combs that is used for sample application on the HYDRAS...
Eliminating the need for any manual pipetting, the HydraPLUS delivers precise micro-volumes of sample directly from primary tubes to four HYDRASYS sample applicators contained in a built-in humidity ...
Handheld Digital Retinal Camera...
Medicine Products: