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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's Old News and You Aren't Getting It

This blog and material found on our original domain,, will help you find quite a bit of accurate, scientific information about viruses, cold and flu.

We aren't offering sensationalistic rants as seems to be the driving factor on some other sites. We offer facts and we try to provide information that will help you face health concerns in a more informed and educated approach. We also hope to encourage your enquiring mind so you will seek other corroboration.

Another medical colleague has provided some sound analysis on the current state of flu and vaccines. This doesn't surprise us because the track record for this vaccine, Tamiflu, has been abysmal if you have been tracking the data since the product got the FDA stamp to pass go in exchange for money.

Tamiflu really has been a failure for health but perhaps not for money.

However, since you most likely won't see these latest reports, we'll put them here for your edification.

And remember, the best prevention for flu is good health and sound nutritional status. If you get on this tract, you'll be amazed at the difference, and you'll save a bundle of money over the long term of a healthy life.

Commentary by Dr. Henry Niman

H1N1 Tamiflu Resistance Reporting Delays in North America
November 23, 2008

Based on the level of oseltamivir resistance observed in only one influenza subtype, H1N1, and the persisting high levels of resistance to the adamantanes in H3N2 viruses, CDC continues to recommend the use of oseltamivir and zanamivir for the treatment or prevention of influenza in the United States. Use of amantadine or rimantadine is not recommended.

The above comments from the latest influenza weekly report from the CDC comments on the levels of anti-viral resistance “observed”. However, reports from Europe and North America suggest that virtually all influenza A in the United States this season will be resistant to at least one anti-viral. The resistance rate for H3N2 for amantadines remains at or near 100%. Although test results for this season has been very limited, all H3N2 tested thus far has been resistant to amantadines. Similarly, last season the rate of resistance for the H1N1 sub-clade 2C (Hong Kong) was also 100%. Last season there were two H1N1 sub-clades in circulation in the US, and the rate of Tamiflu resistance for clade 2B (Brisbane/59) was around 10%. However, the level rose to 100% in several countries in the southern hemisphere in the 2008 season, and initial reports from Europe and North America (England, 12/13; Scotland, 2/2; Norway, 1/1; Canada, 1/1; United States, 1/1) suggest the level for clade 2B will be at or near 100% this season.

The numbers “observed” in the United States is low, because the reported number tested is low. In the latest report, the United States has reported 62 H1N1 isolates, but none have been tested for both oseltamivir and amantadine resistance. One isolate collected in September, prior to the official start of this flu season was amantadine resistance, strongly suggesting was clade 2C. One of two isolates tested for Tamiflu resistance this season had H274Y, and it is likely that the other will be amantadine resistant (but test results have not been released) and clade 2C.

Since the level of Tamiflu resistance is expected to be near 100%, it is somewhat surprising that more test results have not been released. The UK has issued an initial report on the 12/13 with H274Y in southwestern England, and has noted that two resistant isolates were also identified in Scotland, indicating the Tamiflu resistance is widespread.

Canada announced the resistance in its first influenza A isolate, but that was over a month ago, and Canada has also not released addition data. Thus, even though the Tamiflu resistance levels of clade 2B are expected to be at or near 100%, each country has only released test results on one clade 2B isolate, and both were resistant, consistent with frequencies reported in Europe this season.

Since most clinicians in North America are unaware of the expectation that the vast majority of Brisbane/59 H1N1 will be Tamiflu resistant, prompt release of test results would be useful.

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