Sufficient bird flu anti-viral stocks by 2007
19 January 2006
BRUSSELS — Belgium will have some three million doses of the anti-viral medicine Tamiflu by the end of this year.
Swiss pharmaceuticals manufacturer Roche has informed the Belgian inter-ministerial influenza commissionership of the nation’s expected supply status.
It means that Belgium will have a sufficient stock of the medicine three months earlier than planned, newspaper ‘De Tijd’ reported on Thursday.
At the end of 2004, Belgium had just 36,000 usable doses and 400,000 doses in raw material.
To prepare for a possible avian bird flu pandemic, the federal government decided to boost its stocks of the Tamiflu drug.
A stock of three million doses would be sufficient to treat 30 percent of the Belgian population.
Concerns of an outbreak of bird flu have been intensified with the deaths of several children in Turkey recently.
Currently, the virus can only be passed from animal to human, but world health authorities fear the virus could mutate into a form that is more contagious between humans.
Tamiflu is described as a viral inhibitor and does not work as a vaccination against the dangerous H5N1 strain of the bird flu virus.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news