CDC Recommends Two Antivirals for Swine Flu

Published Online: Monday, April 27, 2009
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Swine flu has been confirmed in patients in 5 states and abroad, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued guidelines today on which antiviral drugs will be most effective in combating it.

A total of 4 antivirals have been approved to treat influenza in this country, but the CDC reports that only 2 will work against the swine strain: oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza). The CDC advises clinicians to consider treating any person with confirmed or suspected swine influenza with one of these prescription medications. For more information, go to: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/antiviral_swine.htm.

The agency is reminding providers that recommendations for using antiviral drugs for treatment and prevention of swine flu will change as more is learned about this new virus. Updated guidance for clinicians and public health professionals can be found at: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/guidance/.

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What to Tell Your Inquisitive Patients

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people, because:
    --Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
    --If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

Adapted from material provided on the CDC website (www.cdc.gov/swineflu).



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