Antiviral-Resistant Influenza Strain Indentified In North Dakota

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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The North Dakota Department of Health has identified the strain of influenza which is resistant to a common treatment called oseltamivir (better known as Tamiflu), according to Michelle Feist, influenza surveillance coordinator with the Department of Health.

"Tests conducted at our lab confirmed that this flu strain taken from a North Dakota resident was an influenza A H1 strain, and further testing performed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed it was resistant to the antiviral commonly called Tamiflu," Feist said.

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"As a result, the department has added information to its website that includes state and nationwide influenza antiviral resistance data, along with information for the public and healthcare providers."

Tests completed by the CDC have shown that this common strain of the flu, known as type A H1N1, is becoming resistant to Tamiflu. Data shows that of the flu viruses tested, 98 percent could not be treated with the antiviral Tamiflu. Alternate treatment is available and patients should discuss these options with their health-care provider.

"Of course, preventing the flu is always better than trying to treat it," Feist said. "The flu season is just beginning, so it is not too late to be vaccinated."

So far this season, 94 cases of influenza have been reported in North Dakota.

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