According to a latest WHO report, the H5N1 virus showed reasonable resistance to Tamiflu, an antiviral, in two Egyptians who died last month due to bird flu. This caused anxiety in the medical community.
The report also states that the mutated virus strain called as 294S was first found in Vietnam in 2005. The occurrence of this strain in Egypt reveals that it has spread outside Asia too.
The resistance to Tamiflu by the birdflu virus has not changed the WHO stance on stocking this drug as a first-line treatment. A spokesman for WHO says that since the clinical level of this mutated strain is not yet determined, they would continue using Tamiflu as the drug to treat people affected by birdflu. Some doctors recommend the use of amantadine along with Tamiflu.
Oseltamivir which goes by the brand name of Tamiflu is being manufactured by Roche, a Swiss based pharmaceutical giant.