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Med J Aust. 2006 Nov 20;185(10 Suppl):S58-61.

Antivirals in the management of an influenza pandemic.

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  • 1National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia.


The Australian Government has an extensive stockpile of antivirals (neuraminidase inhibitors) to be used if an influenza pandemic occurs. Neuraminidase inhibitors reduce the duration of the symptoms of seasonal influenza infection by 1 day on average, when used as treatment within 48 hours of disease onset. Neuraminidase inhibitors prevent infection in up to 74% of people when administered as prophylaxis. Resistance of seasonal influenza viruses to neuraminidase inhibitors is low. The safety and efficacy (including resistance) of neuraminidase inhibitors against pandemic influenza or the virus of current concern in pandemic planning, influenza A/H5N1, is not known, and further research is needed.

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