tamifluThe CDC has recommended Tamiflu® and Relenza® for treatment of the swine influenza virus . As is often the case in any type of outbreak, there are numerous conflicting reports arising concerning the availability of the necessary medications.

One of our physician advisors, who is based at a Mexico City hospital, has provided us with the latest information on the treatment available for swine flu.

For those already infected, both Tamiflu and Relenza are available in the main hospitals and are believed to be effective for treating swine flu. Tamiflu is not available commercially but has been stockpiled by the government in adequate supplies and is being dispensed with a physician’s prescription under government supervision at large hospitals. We have learned that Tamiflu is starting to appear in pharmacies in Mexico City.  Relenza has been commercially available in Mexico but demand may exceed supply.   We will provide updated information as it becomes available. 

There have also been reports that thousands of people are flooding the hospitals in Mexico City and are being turned away by police. Our physician advisor reports this is NOT TRUE. The main hospitals in the city are accepting anyone who needs treatment. In fact, they are encouraging people to come to the hospital for proper medical care, ideally within the first 24 hours of recognizing symptoms of swine flu.

We will stay in contact with our physician advisor in Mexico and will post any newsworthy updates.

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About The Author

Carol Foley is Manager of Global Health and Safety for HTH Worldwide, based in Radnor, Pennsylvania. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Carol has more than 10 years experience in the international health area, and has managed complex medical cases throughout the world. She has a special interest in preparing students for a successful study abroad experience.

3 Comments

  1. Carlos A. Baldwin, MD

    Drastic measures have been taken in Mexico City, San Luis Potosi, and areas where AH1N1 Cases have been confirmed.
    This represents a big sacrifice for everybody as the City has practically stopped major activities.
    We must understand that Mexico is a big country. It is a two hour commercial flight from Mexico City to Cancun, where I have my practice, and I haven’t heard of any confirmed case of AH1N1 Influenza in the area. Just try to imagine this distance in Countries in Europe and see what I mean.
    Mexico City looks deserted and many have fled to nearby tourist areas to take advantage of schools being closed. Others stay at home and meet with family members, since movie theaters and other attractions are closed.
    The Governor of Cancun State, Quintana Roo, asked the tourists to go back to their Countries, because he does not want them to blame it on Cancun if they get sick later, like some High-school students from NY did. Cancun Airport looks empty and the hotels are starting to look the same. Some Hotels have closed, others have concentrated their guests in certain wings for convenience.
    It’s going to take time before activities go back to normal. And it’s sad to see biased people react with racism and ignorance in some countries.

  2. Dr. Michael Ritota

    Have you noticed that no one has mentioned that the formula on the bottles of Fluzone® and Fluarix® vaccines includes a viral component that is H1N1. That gives people a tremendous crossover immune memory. These vaccines are widely used now in Jalisco, Mexico, and we have not had a single case of the H1N1 human virus. Someone should check this.
    Dr. Michael Ritota

  3. Jaime Belkind-Gerson, MD

    I am a pediatrician and practice an hour south of Mexico City. I have so far seen six cases of children with a rapid Influenza -A positive test (for the moment it is the only test we have available). None were very sick, only one needed to be hospitalized and was discharged 48 hours later in good condition. Although this is of course a limited series, in my experience, it seems children diagnosed early, do very well and might have a milder course than adults.

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