Tuesday, November 17, 2009

WHO: Pregnant Women, At-Risk Groups Should Be Given H1N1 Antiviral Drugs Immediately

Doctors should give antiviral drugs to pregnant women and other at-risk groups as soon as they show clinical symptoms of swine flu to prevent them developing serious complications, the World Health Organization said Thursday.
The global body is concerned that some doctors are waiting for lab confirmation of the disease before prescribing antivirals such as Tamiflu to vulnerable groups, a senior WHO medical officer said.
"In order to prevent progression to severe disease, antivirals need to be administered early," Dr. Nikki Shindo told reporters during a conference call.
"This also holds for otherwise healthy people who show progressive symptoms" such as breathing difficulty or prolonged fever, she said. The pandemic strain A(H1N1) can sometimes cause serious illness in young adults — a fact that still puzzles experts as that group is usually the most resistant to flu.

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