In other swine flu news, China is reporting eight cases of mutated virus, and last week the World Health Organization was investigating samples of variant swine flu tied to two deaths in Norway.
However, "Shu Yuelong, director of the Chinese National Influenza Center, told the official Xinhua News Agency that the mutated swine flu virus found in China has shown an 'isolated' spread in the mainland, is not resistant to drugs and can be prevented by vaccines," the AP reported. The report did not mention if the new variants had been linked to any deaths, the AP added.
On Monday, tests conducted by the CDC revealed that four patients at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., had contracted strains of H1N1 flu resistant to the antiviral medication Tamiflu. All of the patients became very ill and have multiple, underlying medical problems, according to a Duke news release. The emergence of H1N1 strains resistant to antivirals such as Tamiflu or Relenza has been of particular concern to health experts.
With so many Americans traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, the CDC cautioned that swine flu could accompany you on your journey, especially as you pass thorough train stations and airports. To decrease the risk of getting or spreading the flu, the agency advises not traveling if you are ill, washing your hands often and covering your cough.
For more on H1N1 swine flu, visit the U.S. Health and Human Services Administration.
SOURCES: Nov. 25, 2009, teleconference with Anne Schuchat, M.D., director, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Preventio
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