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Colds and flu

16 November 2009

Antivirals key to preventing severe H1N1 disease-WHO

Antiviral medicines can prevent severe H1N1 flu and should be given to pregnant women, very young children and people with underlying medical problems who fall ill.

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"This also holds for otherwise healthy people who show progressive symptoms," she told a teleconference. "Patients with pneumonia also should be treated with antiviral medicines, antibiotics, oxygen, and balanced fluid management."The WHO has previously said there were only "isolated and infrequent" cases of resistance to antivirals like oseltamivir, marketed by Switzerland's Roche Holding.

 

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Flu expert

Dr Heidi van Deventer completed her MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 2004 at the University of Stellenbosch.
She has additional training in ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and PALS (Paediatric Advanced Life Support) as well as biostatistics and epidemiology.

Dr Van Deventer is currently working as a researcher at the Desmond Tutu Tuberculosis Centre at the University of Stellenbosch.

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