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Evolving: Deadly H7N9 virus develops drug-resistance to Tamiflu

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05/20/2013 12:57 AM
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Evolving: Deadly H7N9 virus develops drug-resistance to Tamiflu
Evolving: Deadly H7N9 virus develops drug-resistance to Tamiflu
With new H7N9 cases waning, the worst thing humans can do right now is let their guard down about the potential dangers of this deadly new virus. The microbe is always mutating and evolving, as a virulent living force of nature and natural selection.

May 20, 2013 TAIPEI, Taiwan - The only H7N9 patient so far in Taiwan was carrying two strains of the same virus, with one being drug resistant and the other not, making it tricky to treat to him, doctors said. Huang Li-min, a doctor from National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH), explained that it was possible the avian flu virus was not drug resistant when the patient was first infected, but mutated later to become resistant to Tamiflu. With Tamiflu failing, NTUH later switched to another intravenous drug, Huang said.
Patients do not have symptoms of a runny nose or sneezing. The patient, surnamed Lee, got sick on April 12, three days after returning from a business trip in China.
Resistance is of concern in the scenario of an influenza pandemic (Wong and Yuen 2005), and may be more likely to develop in avian influenza than seasonal influenza due to the potentially longer duration of infection by novel viruses.
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