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PLoS Med. 2009 Jun 23;6(6):e1000091. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000091. Epub 2009 Jun 23.

What is the optimal therapy for patients with H5N1 influenza?

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Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.


In a 2007 article in PLoS Medicine[10], Holger J. Sch√ľnemann and colleagues described a new process used by the World Health Organization for rapidly developing clinical management guidelines in emergency situations. These situations include outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases. The authors discussed how they developed such a "rapid advice" guideline for the pharmacological management of avian influenza A (H5N1) virus infection. The guideline recommends giving the antiviral drug oseltamivir at a dose of 75 mg twice daily for five days. In this Debate, Nicholas White argues that such dosing is inadequate, Robert Webster and Elena Govorkova say that combination antiviral therapy should be used, and Tim Uyeki reminds us that clinical care of patients with H5N1 entails much more than antiviral treatment. These issues may also apply to therapy of patients hospitalized with severe disease due to novel swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus infection.

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