US research has indicated that oseltamivir (Tamiflu) is effective against the H5N1 avian flu virus, at least in rodents. The research presented at 'Bird Flu: the first pandemic of the 21st Century', a conference held in London last week, found that the drug had a dose-dependent prophylactic effect in healthy mice. It also produced a survival rate of up to 80 per cent in infected mice and significantly reduced levels of the virus in the lungs. Similar trials in ferrets showed oseltamivir prevented virus replication in the upper respiratory tract and completely protected healthy ferrets from infection.
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