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Tamiflu OK for young babies in pandemic

Tamiflu can be given to babies less than six months of age during the current swine flu pandemic, Europe's medicines watchdog said on Friday.
/ Source: Reuters

Tamiflu can be given to babies less than 6 months of age during the current swine flu pandemic, Europe's medicines watchdog said on Friday.

The European Medicines Agency said its committee of experts had approved use of the Roche drug as a treatment for children under 6 months old and to prevent post-exposure infection in those under one year.

The World Health Organization said earlier on Friday that early use of antivirals like Tamiflu was effective in treating H1N1 swine flu, though health authorities should be vigilant for signs of drug resistance.

Roche acquired rights to Tamiflu, or oseltamivir, from Gilead Sciences.

Most people who contract pandemic influenza suffer only mild symptoms before recovery without treatment, but children, pregnant women and those with some existing health conditions are vulnerable to a more severe attack or even death.