Tamiflu loses punch for current flu strain - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tamiflu loses punch for current flu strain

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

December 23, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A common strain of influenza in the United States this winter has built up a resistance to one of the ways to treat it.

One of the sub-types of Influenza A has become resistant to Tamiflu, a popular medication prescribed by doctors to help treat the flu.

Health officials in southwest Georgia say that type of influenza A hasn't been found in Georgia yet, but nationwide it's 98% resistant to the drug. 

"Influenza A subtype that is resistant to Tamiflu but that type, that subtype, seems to be captured very well with the vaccine so, it is still not too late to get your flu shot," says Southwest Georgia Health District Director Dr. Jacqueline Grant.

Fortunately, doctors say they can still treat that strain of flu with a combination of other medications. While southwest Georgia has only a few confirmed cases of influenza, cases are expected to increase in the next two weeks, the exact amount of time it takes for the vaccine to begin to protect you.

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