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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Singapore : New strategy for pandemic

Via The Straits Times :

" IN A first worldwide, researchers from Singapore have proven that the use of a strategy of administering anti-viral drug Tamiflu to people exposed to the Influenza A (H1N1) outbreaks in a closed community was effective in bringing down infection rates and in the process, stop the pandemic in its tracks.

Tamiflu has been used in the treatment and prevention of H1N1 in communities worldwide. While it was easy to test the efficacy of the drug as a treatment tool, large scale studies to determine its effectiveness as a preventive tool during a pandemic was unavailable.

At a media briefing on Thursday, Dr Vernon Lee, the lead researcher of the study and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the National University of Singapore's Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, pointed to how the strategy of ring prophylaxis, which administers the drug to co-workers of the infected patient, is a life-saver and 'literally stopped the outbreak from spreading'.

From 22 to 25 June last year when military camps in Singapore- three military units and one camp medical centre- had H1N1 outbreaks, Tamiflu was administered to all 1,100 military personnel from the four units.

The results were encouraging: From an infection rate of 6.4 per cent in the study population (75 personnel), it dropped to 0.6 per cent (7 personnel) after intervention with Tamiflu."

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