Flu Immunizes Against Two Anti-Viral Drugs

January 15 20:35 2006 Print This Article

WASHINGTON, January 15 – In a worrying development it has been discovered that the current main flu strain H3N2, common influenza, is resistant to two of the most-used anti-viral drugs.

With the flu season off to a fresh start the main strain spreading fast is H3N2. Normally the drugs amantadine and rimantadin are widely used to combat flu in the flu season but tests show that 91% of the common flu strains are immune to these drugs. This is a staggering rise from only an 11% resistance in the last flu season!

Amantadine was sold under the brand name Symmetrel and rimantadin was known as Flumadine. Both widely used, Symmeterel as early as since the 60’s and Flumadine since the 90’s. Both drugs appeared in generic form and only presented a tenth of the cost of popular anti-viral drugs such as Tamiflu and Relenza.

The recent outbreak of avian influenza worries researchers, the current common flu could evolve with a strain of the deadly H5N1 virus and thus create a lethal strain that is transferable from human to human. Such a development would be catastrophic.

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