Bird Flu Watch

1 minute read
Bryan Walsh

Countries around the world have been stockpiling the antiviral drug Tamiflu in preparation for a possible avian-flu pandemic. But a review published in the journal Lancet last week cast doubt on the drugs effectiveness. Researchers in Rome analyzed existing studies and concluded there is no credible evidence that Tamiflu works against bird flu. While acknowledging that the drug has considerable limitationsto be effective, it must be administered soon after flu symptoms appearthe World Health Organization questioned the reviews conclusions, and said it wont change its recommendation that governments keep stocking up on the drug. For now, theres little choice: while Tamiflu isnt a magic bullet, says Dr. Jeremy Farrar, a doctor in Vietnam who has treated bird-flu victims, it remains the best drug we have.

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