Aug 14, 2009
H1N1 in S'pore
By Judith Tan
Dr Penn also revealed that WHO has been alerted informally to the discovery of 'a small number of other Tamiflu-resistant viruses'. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
SINGAPORE has reported a case of Tamiflu-resistant H1N1 virus, said a World Health Organisation (WHO) scientist.
Dr Charles Penn, a scientist with the Geneva-based agency, said on Wednesday WHO has received formal notification of seven cases.
He told The Canadian Press that Japan has reported three cases of resistance; and Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong and Singapore have each found one.
Dr Penn also revealed that WHO has been alerted informally to the discovery of 'a small number of other Tamiflu-resistant viruses' but would not say where they were found or how many there were in total.
Tamiflu is one of only two flu drugs to treat H1N1 cases.
Since its emergence earlier this year, the pandemic H1N1 virus has been resistant to two older flu drugs, amantadine and rimantadine.
Dr Penn said the Tamiflu-resistent H1N1 cases 'look like individual isolated cases,' suggesting that there is 'no onward transmission, or implication of them having originated, from a common source."
He added that laboratories around the world are on the lookout for changes in the pandemic viruses that might suggest a similar problem of resistance.
'But so far, no evidence has been found,' he said.