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Avian Flu, What to Do?
Oct 2, 2005

Good Day. I am healthy positive 49 year old male . On meds with fair numbers. I have had Flu vaccine even prior to yo diag and never had any "bad" reactions. With the focus in the media on "pandemic" what are the best options for helping to prevent contracting the Flu this season ( aside from the normal avoid crowds, wash hands ) specifically is Tamiflu an option for prevention, I realize it is intended to minimize symptoms post infection. Simply is current batch of vaccine ( if there is any) the best guard aginst the "Bird Flu" ??What am I ( we all) to do ?? Thanks Allan

Response from Dr. Pierone

Tamiflu is generally reserved for people that acquire influenza. It has activity against Avian Influenza and if would be used for human cases of this disease. Vaccines active against Avian Influenza and being developed, but the yearly influenza vaccine does not protect against Avian Influenza. The best guard against Avian influenza is to avoid travel to the rural parts of Southeast Asia where cases of transmission to humans have occurred. To date, this virus has not developed the virulence factors to allow it to spread from person to person. If and when it does we could have a worldwide influenza disaster of unprecedented proportions. This is why governments are stockpiling Tamiflu and placing high priority on development of Avian Influenza vaccines.



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