Swine flu deaths have occurred in Vietnam because patients took Tamiflu pills too late, a health official said at a meeting held by the National Steering Board on Flu Prevention in Humans in Hanoi September 16. Cao Hung Thai of the Ministry of Health’s Treatment Management Department said his and other agencies studied the fatalities and discovered that five out of the six victims also belonged to high-risk groups like people with chronic diseases and malnutrition. Moreover, they were taken too late to hospital that treatment with Tamiflu failed to be effective, he said. Deputy Minister of Health Trinh Quan Huan feared that with swine flu becoming widespread, more people would be treated at local hospitals where treatment quality is low, and ordered the Human Flu Treatment Bureau to train workers at these centers in treatment procedures. He instructed medical facilities to provide Tamiflu pill to people in high-risk groups without waiting for test results, warning it could otherwise be too late. Medical establishments must ensure adequate supply of the drug, he said. Nguyen Tran Hien, director of the Central Institute of Hygiene Epidemiology, said the fact that 70 per cent of flu cases are testing positive for A/H1N1 flu…
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