The AP;_ylt=Als5P3cvs92fvTtOqmfj8ARI2ocA;_ylu=X3oDMTJtZmpzc2lzBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMDkxMTIwL3VzX21lZF9zd2luZV9mbHUEcG9zAzQEc2VjA3luX3BhZ2luYXRlX3N1bW1hcnlfbGlzdARzbGsDdGFtaWZsdS1yZXNp(11/20, Stobbe) reported that four North Carolina patients at Duke University Medical Center "tested positive for a type of swine flu that is resistant to Tamiflu," CDC official said Friday. The cases "at a single hospital...over six weeks make up the biggest cluster seen so far in the US."
Meanwhile, "five patients at a hospital in Wales contracted swine flu that resisted treatment with" Tamiflu, "and three more infections are being analyzed, the UK Health Protection Agency (HPA) said," Bloomberg News
(11/21, Cortez, Stigset) added. UK officials said, "We take this development seriously, but the HPA currently considers that the risk to the general healthy population is low. ... The Tamiflu-resistant virus has emerged in a group of particularly vulnerable individuals. These patients are known to be at increased risk of developing resistance to the drug." Meanwhile, Dr. Anne Schuchat, head of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said, "I don't think it yet has the public health implications that we would wonder about." She added that "similar mutations have been seen elsewhere and haven't necessarily led to a more virulent disease." The New York Daily News
(11/21, Pearson) also reported on the North Carolina cluster.
Experts say H1N1 mutations do not render vaccines ineffective. AFP (11/21) reported, "Swine flu vaccines are still effective despite reported cases of mutations in the A(H1N1) virus, health experts in Europe and North America said Saturday." Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "said the mutation would have no impact on the effectiveness of the swine flu vaccine or the anti-virals," while French flu virus monitoring chief Bruno Lina said the mutation "came as no surprise. 'It was expected, it was announced, and it will happen again,' Lina told AFP, adding: 'That does not change anything with regard to treatment and vaccines.'"
H1N1 may have peaked in US. The Washington Post
(11/21, Stein) reported that the "level of swine flu activity in the United States appears to be declining, although officials are worried about another increase of cases during the Thanksgiving holiday when many people travel and families gather." The "number of states reporting widespread activity of the H1N1 virus dropped to 43 from 46 in the past week, and activity fell in all 10 regions of the country," according to the CDC. ´