Girl's flu case found to be drug-resistant

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Friday, October 14, 2005

A Vietnamese girl's case of bird flu was found to be oseltamivir-resistant, where oseltamivir is the active ingredient of the anti-viral drug being marketed as Tamiflu.

The girl had been taking care of her brother who had caught the disease, and may have contracted it from him rather than from infected birds. She was on a low dosage of Tamiflu, and recovered when given higher doses. She had contracted a mutated form of H5N1 bird flu.

Tests on lab animals were also found sensitive to zanamivir, marketed as Relenza.

Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Tokyo said the girl's case was "only one case, and whether that condition was something unique we don't know."

In related news, Romanian authorities have announced the bird flu virus detected in the Danube delta in eastern Europe is the same lethal H5N1 strain which struck in Asia.