Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Potential risks associated with widespread use of pandemic influenza drug

19.10.2006
Tamiflu, an antiviral flu drug, is recommended worldwide for the prevention and treatment of pandemic influenza infection, but extensive use by the human population could cause a serious environmental challenge as well as encouraging a new strain of avian flu to develop.

Reporting in the current issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, researchers at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) describe the likely effects of widespread antiviral treatment for a flu pandemic, on wildlife and the natural environment.

Lead researcher Dr Andrew Singer, said “An antiviral drug has never been widely used before, so we need to determine what might happen. During a flu pandemic, millions of people will all take Tamiflu at the same time. Over just 8 or 9 weeks, massive amounts of the drug will be expelled in sewage and find its way into the rivers. It could have huge effects on the fish and other wildlife.”

The build up of Tamiflu in rivers is likely to cause the avian influenza virus in ducks to become resistant to it, eventually resulting in a new wave of flu that is unaffected by the Tamiflu drug. People in south-east Asia, for example, could be more at risk from contracting the new strain of influenza because they have close and frequent contact with wildfowl.

Dr Singer said, “We hope that, in the short term, Tamiflu will slow the spread of the virus so that an effective vaccine can be produced. But we recommend that more research is done to identify the regions and people most at risk, to study how Tamiflu behaves in water, and to determine cheap and easy ways to break it down before it reaches the river.”

The CEH research has focussed on determining the effects of Tamiflu in rivers in the UK and the USA.

Marion O'Sullivan | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nerc.ac.uk
http://www.ehponline.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Foxes in the city: citizen science helps researchers to study urban wildlife
14.12.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

nachricht Machine learning helps predict worldwide plant-conservation priorities
04.12.2018 | Ohio State University

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>