PAHO rejects report of resistant H1N1 cases on US-Mexico border

first_imgAug 4, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – A Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) official today rejected a media report that quoted her as saying that antiviral-resistant cases of novel H1N1 influenza had been found along the US-Mexican border.Details in the original article, published by Agence France-Presse (AFP), were sketchy and at times confusing. The report, which quoted Maria Teresa Cerqueira, PhD, chief of PAHO’s US-Mexico border office in El Paso, Tex., said a few oseltamivir (Tamiflu)-resistant cases had been detected in El Paso and near McAllen, Tex.The story quoted her as saying one patient diagnosed with a resistant strain had been treated with zanamivir (Relenza) and that “another was given no alternative treatment.” The article didn’t say if either of the patients was initially treated with Tamiflu.But in an e-mail message today, Cerqueira said she was misquoted. She sent the message to PAHO, which shared it with CIDRAP News.Cerqueria wrote that she mentioned McAllen and El Paso as being among the border towns where novel flu virus has been detected. She said that in response to a question about resistant cases, she told the writer she was concerned and that PAHO has recommended surveillance for such cases, especially since people go back and forth across the border for medical care and to buy medicine.Cerqueira said she repeated several times that she had no information on any antiviral-resistant cases in the border area. “It is an unfortunate misinterpretation that needs to be clarified,” she wrote.She wrote that she has heard about two antiviral-resistant cases from a physician in Colombia, but that the source did not say they were near the US-Mexico border.So far, isolated oseltamivir-resistant novel flu cases have been confirmed in Denmark, Hong Kong, Japan, and Canada. All of the patients had a history of oseltamivir prophylaxis or treatment, except for the patient in Hong Kong, a girl who was visiting from the United States, where health officials believe she was exposed to the virus.A spokesman for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today referred questions about the alleged border antiviral-resistant cases to PAHO, and a World Health Organization spokesman said its experts were following up on the claims in the report. A PAHO spokeswoman said the group was working on a statement to clarify the comments attributed to Cerqueira.See also:Aug 3 AFP storylast_img read more

Don’t march out; Challenge speakers

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion I encouraged them to research the speaker, listen to his/her words, and then use their research and intelligence to rebut the speaker during the question-and-answer session.What then to make of the Albany Law School students who walked out of a panel on travel bans to protest one speaker?They’re students at a prestigious institution of legal education. I have friends who graduated from that school and serve in truly distinguished capacities today. These students will be challenged when they argue cases against opposing attorneys and try to convince juries. Why not undertake a challenge now?It’s my hope that the next time said students are again faced with this type of challenge, they’ll stay and question the individual(s) with the intelligence they obviously have in order to attend this school.Michael FondacaroAlbanyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Feds: Albany man sentenced for role in romance scam I preface this letter by noting that I mentor Asian-American students at the University at Albany. I made clear to them at the beginning of this semester that should the university extend a speaking invitation an individual whose views they and I would consider reprehensible and repugnant that they shouldn’t interrupt or attempt to shut down the speaker.last_img read more