Another study shows kids shed virus up to 13 days after fever starts
THURSDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. researchers say they've spotted the first case of a Tamiflu-resistant H1N1 flu virus passing between two people -- raising the specter that more widespread resistance will render the antiviral drug less useful in combating the pandemic.
A second study found that children are still shedding H1N1 virus nearly two weeks after symptoms first appeared, although the lead author of that study emphasized that this is not synonymous with the virus being infectious for that long.
The H1N1 virus is spreading rapidly, although it has not changed from the typically mild illness observed last spring and summer, experts said at a press conference held Thursday at the Infectious Diseases Society of America's annual meeting in Philadelphia.
"We have the same [H1N1] disease from the spring and summer but just a lot more of it right now," said Rear Admiral Dr. Stephen Redd, director of the Influenza Coordination Unit at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"An increasing proportion of people are visiting doctors with influenza-like illness, the disease is widespread and we are seeing more deaths in children in particular, and we would expect that to continue as the number of cases increases," he said.
Antiviral drugs have been dispatched from the U.S. government stockpile to treat children, Redd added.
So far, almost all strains of H1N1 have responded to both oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and another antiviral, zanamivir (Relenza), while displaying resistance to amantadine, a drug in a different class. As a result, Tamiflu and Relenza have been used widely for both the prevention and treatment of H1N1.
However, in June and July of 2009, 65 campers and staff at a summer camp in North Carolina became ill with H1N1 and were treated with Tamiflu, while 600 other campers and staff
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