The Swine Flu, Fake Tamiflu & Flu Vaccines

As mentioned previously , 3 postings ago here, where there is a threat there’s opportunity! It didn’t take too long after  WHO declared a pandemic of the H1N1 (swine flu) virus that a flood of self-proclaimed remedies came onto the internet, enticing consumers to part with their money in return for dubious cures.

The US FDA were quick to respond to these quack merchants by publishing  a blacklist of internet sites. Many of these sites have since either closed down or retreated into “under construction” modes.


Tamiflu - the most sought-after prescription on the Internet

Not to be outdone, these marketeers have now resorted to fake Tamiflu sales over the Internet, so much so, scam emails on these fake Tamiflu have exceeded that for Viagra! Sir Liam Donaldson, the UK’s Chief Medical Officer, told the BBC that the whole field of counterfeit drugs is becoming a much bigger problem, with fake Tamiflu substituted with sugar and even coumadin (a blood thinner originally used to kill rats).

Even if you managed to get the genuine product, which sells as a course of 10 capsules for about USD 6 each, Tamiflu  has to be taken correctly (within 48 hours of the flu symptoms) to be effective. And if the flu persists, chances are you’ve got H1N1 flu because Tamiflu & Relenza (the other ‘antidote’) do not always knock off this virus!


Prevention Measures Like These Are More Effective than Tamiflu or Flu Vaccines

And the flu vaccines? The ones available in the market are only effective against the previous flu strains over the last few years, but not against swine flu. The swine flu vaccine will only be available end-August but it is doubtful whether there will be enough to go around should the containment phase now being undertaken by most countries moves towards the treatment phase as the pandemic spreads, as it is widely expected to.

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One response

  1. Now that the pandemic has gained ground, why is the response from various countries different?
    I mean that some countries do not even have strict screening while some are extremely serious?
    Doctor2008 replies: Well, its got to do with the stage of preventive health measures at that point in time. In countries where the incidence is sporadic and the disease has a real chance of being contained, then containment measures are done like screening, isolation wards and treatment of contacts.
    However, in those countries where the disease is widespread, like the US and UK, the above measures are not done and it is accepted that only those having the disease will be given treatment. People in susceptible groups like the elderly, infants and pregnant women will be given the flu jabs.

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