Sunday, August 27, 2006

Pregnant bird flu patient may add to information on Tamiflu

A pregnant woman in Indonesia who shows symptoms of bird flu agreed to take Tamiflu. The medicine, recommended by the World Health Organization to treat the lethal virus, may be a risk to her unborn fetus, a doctor said.

The 35-year-old woman, two months pregnant, began a course of Roche Holding AG’s antiviral to treat an infection possibly caused by the H5N1 avian influenza strain, said Luhur Soeroso, a doctor at the Adam Malik Hospital in Medan on Sumatra island.

Clinicians have had little experience treating H5N1 in pregnant women, and if the woman has the disease, her case may provide needed information. There is no adequate data on the use of Tamiflu, known scientifically as oseltamivir, in pregnant women, according to the WHO. Animal studies don’t indicate direct or indirect harmful effects on pregnancy or fetal development, the health agency said in March.

“Our priority is to save her life,” Soeroso said. The woman is aware of the unknown risks on her fetus caused by oseltamivir and by the antibiotics she is also taking, he said.

Avian influenza link source:

Posted by john T. on 08/27 at 11:19 AM
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