Saturday, January 28, 2012

Tamiflu Reduces the Duration of Influenza… BUT

A new review of medical evidence, conducted by the Cochrane Collaboration, has raised questions about the risk-benefit profile of oseltamivir (Tamiflu). The review found that the drug could reduce the duration of influenza, however, it has not been proven to reduce the incidence of complications from the flu nor did they find sufficient evidence that it could reduce transmission of the virus. Based on its review, the Cochrane Collaboration has asked Roche to release unpublished data on oseltamivir. Investigators derived their conclusions from 15 published studies and nearly 30,000 pages of 'clinical study reports.'


Jefferson, Tom; Jones, Mark A.; Doshi, Peter; et al. Neuraminidase Inhibitors for Preventing and Treating Influenza in Healthy Adults and Children - A Review of Clinical Study Reports. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (01/12)

Influenza virus may be transmitted among humans in three ways:

(1) by direct contact with infected individuals;

(2) by contact with contaminated objects (called fomites, such asLink toys, doorknobs);

(3) by inhalation of virus-laden aerosolized particles (droplets).

The contribution of each mode to overall transmission of influenza is not known. However, CDC recommendations to control influenza virus transmission in health care settings include measures that minimize spread by aerosol and fomite mechanisms.

Influenza transmission can be reduced by covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing*, and by washing hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand cleaners.

Source: Virology Blog by By Vincent Racaniello

*While coughing may produce several hundred droplets, a good sneeze can generate up to 20,000. See “Vampire Cough” video

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