Should Tamiflu™ be stockpiled locally?
Keywords:pandemic, influenza, oseltamivir, Tamiflu™, antivirals, first responders
AbstractThe outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza in Asia raises serious concerns about an influenza pandemic of the kind seen in 1918. In addition, the recent federal response to Hurricane Katrina highlights the need for advanced local preparation for biological disasters. It is clear that there will not be enough vaccine early in an influenza pandemic. Without vaccine, the role of antivirals, especially oseltamivir (Tamiflu™), in treatment and prophylaxis becomes of paramount importance. It is unlikely that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be able to stockpile enough oseltamivir to protect every first responder in the United States. Thus, it is important that local governments and hospitals consider stockpiling oseltamivir for the treatment and/or prophylaxis of local first responders.
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