Public Health Officials Investigate Change in Common Flu Strain

The NC Division of Public Health is notifying physicians in North Carolina of an ongoing investigation with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) into a cluster of influenza B viruses from North Carolina that appear to show less responsiveness to the antiviral drug oseltamivir, also known as Tamiflu. Lab tests by the CDC indicate that the drug has slightly less effect on those particular viruses. The reason appears to be a genetic change in the viruses that has not been seen in samples from other states. The CDC is testing more influenza B viruses from North Carolina and surrounding states to determine whether the same genetic change can be found in other influenza B viruses from North Carolina or elsewhere in the country. Thirty-one viruses with this genetic change were collected from 92 samples from North Carolina patients between November 2010 and February 2011.
 
 

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