Netherlands reports first drug-resistant swine flu case

4th November 2009, Comments 0 comments

A patient infected with an H1N1 virus has been found to be resistant to antiviral drug Tamiflu.

The Hague – The Netherlands reported its first case of drug-resistant swine flu on Wednesday, but said this was "no reason for panic".

"A patient with serious flu symptoms has turned out to be infected with an A(H1N1) virus that is resistant to the antiviral drug oseltamivir" commonly known as Tamiflu, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) said in a statement.

"This is the first time that an oseltamivir-resistant A(H1N1) virus has been found in the Netherlands."

RIVM official Jessica Grootenboer told AFP that drug-resistant strains of the virus "do not spread quickly" and that the patient was under close monitoring in hospital.

"There is absolutely no reason for panic," she said.

The World Health Organisation has reported 39 drug-resistant cases worldwide to date, said the RIVM.

In September, the WHO said that anti-viral drugs like Tamiflu should not be used to prevent swine flu, as this practice had caused almost half of the known cases of drug resistance.

Ten people have died of the A(H1N1) virus in what authorities have described as a "light epidemic" in the Netherlands. Annually, about one thousand people in the country die of the ordinary, seasonal flu.

The WHO has said that more than 5,700 people worldwide have died of swine flu since the virus was first detected in April.

AFP / Expatica

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