July Swine flu outbreak shows Tamiflu Ineffective
2009 10 20

By Maggie Fox | Reuters.com

The outbreak provided a unique opportunity to study the virus closely and Dr. Catherine Takacs Witkop and colleagues say they discovered some surprising things: Tamiflu, the drug used to treat influenza, did not help any of the previously healthy young men and women get better any quicker.


More than 100 new cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy got infected with swine flu at a July 4 barbecue and fireworks display but quick isolation measures got it under control within two weeks, researchers reported on Tuesday.

The outbreak provided a unique opportunity to study the virus closely and Dr. Catherine Takacs Witkop and colleagues say they discovered some surprising things. Among them:

* Nearly a quarter, or 24 percent, of patients still had virus in their noses seven days after getting sick, including 19 percent who had been well for at least 24 hours

* Tamiflu, the drug used to treat influenza, did not help any of the previously healthy young men and women get better any quicker.

* Most cadets were sick for five days or longer

* Eleven percent of the cadets became infected.


In June, soon after the new H1N1 virus was declared a pandemic, 1,376 new cadets arrived for their first training at the academy, near Colorado Springs, Colorado. By July 24, 134 confirmed and 33 suspected cases were identified, Witkop's team reported in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The cadets, unusually young and healthy, all did well and none became seriously ill or died. Most cases were traced to a July 4 party for the cadets, Witkop said.

"It was about 48 to 72 hours later that we saw the increase in the cadets presenting with the symptoms," Witkop said in a telephone interview.

Witkop said the academy doctors quickly designated one dormitory for the sick cadets and kept them away from the others.

They tested them daily for the virus, painting a picture of the course of the disease far more detailed than has been possible before.

IN THE NOSE

Eleven, or 19 percent, of nose washes taken from 58 patients who had been free of symptoms for a full 24 hours still contained virus, although it is not clear if the patients were still contagious.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that H1N1 patients can return to work and school 24 hours after their symptoms such as fever go away.

The CDC's Dr. Anne Schuchat said researchers know people, especially children, can carry the virus long after they are better. "Shedding doesn't mean you are spreading," Schuchat told reporters in a telephone briefing. "Fever is a good marker of infectiousness or ability to spread."

Many of the cadets were treated with oseltamivir, pills sold by Roche AG under the Tamiflu brand name, but they did not get better any more quickly than untreated cadets.

"We did use it in the hope that we would stem the tide of the outbreak but I don't think the Tamiflu was the key player in the outreak resolution," Witkop said.

"I think it was ... the isolation protocol," she added. Cadets stayed in the sick dorm until they were free of symptoms for 24 hours, or for seven days after first getting sick, whichever was longer.

The CDC recommends saving Tamiflu for people most at risk of getting severely ill from flu, such as pregnant women, people with diabetes or asthma or disabled children.

The academy also quickly educated the cadets about washing hands and not spreading germs by covering their coughs, and Witkop said they used a great deal of hand sanitizer, which may have helped control the outbreak within 10 to 14 days.

Article from: Reuters.com



Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

Exponential growth of Ashkenazi Jews following a Medieval population bottleneck
2014 09 17
A recent paper by Marta Costa et al. found that around 80% of Ashkenazi mitochondrial DNA had a prehistoric European origin (and ruled out the Khazar hypothesis). Combined with previous Y chromosome studies indicating that the male line is Middle Eastern, the results suggested a scenario in which Jewish males married European females after traveling to Europe. Now another paper, ...
Bankers Rule: City of London vs. Scottish Independence
2014 09 17
Now that the independence referendum is too close to call, the bankers express their worry. The media blitz ramps up to tip the outcome. Scottish independence has finally rattled the City of London has the usual banksters forecasting the dislocations from a currency panic. Scotland has a long and noteworthy history of banking. Money, savings and investing is entrenched in the ...
French separatists want Scots to say "yes"
2014 09 17
Separatist leaders in Brittany, Corsica and the French Basque Country will watch with interest as Scotland votes on independence next week, but they don’t expect France to follow the UK’s lead any time soon. Pro-independence activists point to the fact they have their own languages and cultural identities. France, however, remains a deeply centralized country and any talk of a negotiated ...
Devil’s Deal: US-Backed Syrian Rebels Already Signed Pact with ISIS Prior to Haines Beheading
2014 09 17
While Washington considers appropriating half a billion in funds to the Syrian rebels, we now learn that opposition groups the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and al Qaeda affiliate ‘al Nusra Front’, have officially aligned themselves with ISIS… Despite grand words by US President Obama and British PM David Cameron, here’s what’s really behind their plan to bomb ISIS in Syria… In a ...
World War III for Dummies
2014 09 16
A Step-by-Step Guide to Understanding the Present World Situation. 1998 - 2000 Powerful elites and influential think tanks forecast a coming period of American aggression. Zbigniew Brzezinski speaks for the Globalist faction of the western PRC (Predatory Ruling Class) in ’The Grand Chessboard’, a book in which he openly advocates for bolder American action in dominating the Eurasian land mass. During this ...
More News »