Australia has done something very interesting yesterday and created a new phase in their (till then) six level pandemic response system. The Government has created the new phase (called Protect) to cope with the fact that, so far, Swine Flu, while being wide-spread and spreading, is only a “mild” virus. (Everyone seems to have designed their phases with Bird Flu in mind, and are now having to re-think!).
The result of going to protect is that the national stockpile of Tamiflu won’t be used to treat people – unless they are in an at-risk group. This addresses two of the concerns that readers of this blog have raised in the past:
- The “wasting” of Tamiflu on patients who will get better, at about the same pace, anyway.
- And the risk of creating a Tamiflu resistant strain of Swine Flu because of the level of Tamiflu in the community.
ABC radio’s PM program has a great report on this. You can listen to it, or read the transcript, here.