As Tamiflu-resistant cases of H1N1 swine flu virus continue to grow worldwide, the first known case of human-to-human antiviral-resistant swine flu transmission has just been discovered.
The challenge with influenza viruses is found in their unpredictability - and the H1N1 swine flu virus is no exception. However, with the over-use and mass distribution of antiviral remedies like Tamiflu, the prediction of antiviral-resistant strains being transmitted from person to person was not too difficult to call.
Tamiflu-resistant strains have been on the rise worldwide. Australia reported their first case on Friday, and Roche announced 23 cases of Tamiflu-resistant H1N1 to date.
But human-to-human transmission of antiviral-resistant H1N1 is something else entirely - and this has been observed for the first time. Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made the discovery among two infected girls who had attended a summer camp together. When the camp had experienced an outbreak of H1N1, it widely distributed Tamiflu to its staff and to the campers - and this action led to the establishment of a Tamiflu-resistant swine flu strain that would later leap from one girl to another.
The H1N1 swine flu pandemic has made headlines around the world, and the awareness has led to liberal distribution of the antiviral Tamiflu. The discovery of this new transmission has put scientists on alert worldwide.