China, die Vogelgrippe und Gegenmittel

Peking verteidigt sich gegen Behauptungen, bei der Bekämpfung der Vogelgrippe wenig klug vorzugehen und Gegenmittel quasi wertlos gemacht zu haben:
The Chinese government said Friday that very few samples of bird flu virus collected here over the past two years showed resistance to a key influenza drug, contradicting complaints by international researchers that Chinese veterinary practices had rendered the drug useless if the virus were to spread to people. Jia Youling, a senior Agriculture Ministry official who serves as the country's chief veterinary officer, acknowledged that Chinese farmers have used the drug, amantadine, which is meant for people, on chickens and other poultry. But he said the practice was banned last year and denied that it had resulted in the bird flu virus developing a resistance to the drug. "Some people have said that because China once used amantadine, disastrous effects have now been brought about on the global prevention of avian flu," he said at a government news conference. "However, I think that statement is quite unfair." Jia suggested instead that veterinary practices in Southeast Asia were to blame for strains of bird flu becoming resistant to the drug. Citing animal health experts, The Washington Post reported in June that Chinese farmers had used amantadine to treat bird flu in chickens with the approval and encouragement of government officials. As a result, researchers have concluded the drug will not be effective if the avian influenza mutates into a form that can spread among humans and causes a global pandemic. Amantadine is one of two main types of medication available for treating human influenza. The other, oseltamivir, sold under the product name Tamiflu, is more expensive and more difficult to produce in large amounts. Health experts are now evaluating whether another drug, zanamavir, sold as Relenza, could also be used in widespread treatment of the virus. The Chinese government has denied that it urged farmers to use amantadine to suppress bird flu outbreaks. But Jia said some Chinese poultry farmers have used the drug in the past on the advice of the Merck Veterinary Manual, a leading guide for the veterinary profession around the world.
Mehr zum Thema in der Welt: China hat nach bereits sieben Ausbrüchen der Vogelgrippe vom Typ H5N1 in fünf seiner Provinzen eine umfassende und uneingeschränkte Information der Öffentlichkeit versprochen.


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