Antiviral use encouraged

Following up on guidance that the CDC issued yesterday, Schuchat made a point of urging clinicians to use antiviral drugs for suspected H1N1 patients who are severely ill or have risk factors such as pregnancy, asthma, or diabetes, or are under 2 years old.

"If you get a rapid test and it's negative, you can't really rely on that," she said. "If you suspect flu, it's very important to provide those antivirals quickly." The World Health Organization gave similar advice about antiviral use last week.

In response to a question, Schuchat said clinicians haven't been reluctant to use antivirals, but the testing is "a little bit new," and some may not recognize that a negative test doesn't necessarily rule out the infection.
She was also asked about a report suggesting that up to 60% of people infected with H1N1 will have no symptoms. She replied that the CDC is conducting serologic studies but does not yet know how many asymptomatic infections may be occurring.

"But I can say that the vast majority of people are susceptible to this infection . . . and vaccination makes a lot of sense," she said.

....... thanks for getting this posted Snowy Owl

This article certainly supplements the CDC and WHO message to doctors worldwide to provide Tamiflu treatment as quickly as doctors can determine the likelihood of infection, and yet I wonder if there are many asymptomatic cases that suddenly turned virulent and/or deadly, why then some might argue logically for wider use of Tamiflu as a prophylaxsis in group situation where contact with positively confirmed cases occur in order to proactively prevent that small % from catching H1N1 who might go on to develop ARDS or AP.
It appears if left too late, those persons who had sudden severe illness due to H1N1 were also among those ones who'd presented to doctors earlier and clinics and been told they didn't need the Tamiflu. I hope this lesson has now been learned and best practice becomes universal ...treat with antivirals ASAP imho