[to top of second column]
Some experts have criticized that approach, warning that blanketing the population with Tamiflu increases the chances of resistant strains emerging.
Flu expert Hugh Pennington of the University of Aberdeen called the strategy "a very big experiment" and said England's approach was out of step with the rest of the world. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for instance, says anti-virals must be prescribed by a health care professional.
Pennington called for the national flu line to be dismantled because Tamiflu should be used more sparingly.
"This approach increases the likelihood of a resistant strain and that is not a risk worth running," Pennington said.
Officials have already found widespread drug resistance in seasonal strains of H1N1 flu and worry that might also crop up with swine flu. So far, only a handful of Tamiflu-resistant swine flu strains have been found.
WHO said most patients infected with swine flu worldwide recover within a week without any medical treatment. Still, about 40 percent of the severe swine flu cases are occurring in previously healthy children and adults, usually under 50 years of age.
WHO has estimated that as many as 2 billion people could become infected over the next two years with swine flu -- nearly one-third of the world's population.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
< Recent articles
Back to top
News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries
Law & Courts |
Spiritual Life |
Health & Fitness |
Calendar | Letters to the Editor