Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Drugs Aren't Always The Answer

Last winter in the U.S. the flu vaccine was ineffective against a large percentage of cases. Experts are now saying that seasonal flu viruses are developing the ability to evade influenza drugs globally, and doing it quickly. It's always been known that they can mutate quickly but the speed of adaptation is surprising scientists. The resistance also varies by strain, with a quarter of H1N1 flu viruses resistant in Europe and about 11 percent of H1N1 in the United States affected.

Many scientists say we need to develop better faster vaccines to prepare for a pandemic. It hasn't dawned on them that by using more drugs they're actually creating the pandemic they fear. Case studies have found that with simple skin viruses it can take less than 3 weeks and 32 generations of mutation for a virus to become completely drug resistant and deadly. Aren't we doing the same thing with our flu drugs?

Altering a natural cycle may only be creating a bigger problem in the long run.

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