SEOUL (AFP) – A South Korean infant infected with swine flu has died of pneumonia and respiratory failure after showing no response to the anti-viral drug Tamiflu, officials said Thursday.
The one-year-old girl died on December 1 in hospital, the health ministry said, adding that health officials discovered a strain of the (A)H1N1 virus resistant to Tamiflu in her body.
“It marked the first such fatality at home, but we need consultations with the (World Health Organisation) to see if it was the world’s first such case,” Chung Chan-Woo, an official at the ministry’s swine flu centre, told AFP.
The girl was hospitalised on November 14 for high fever and coughs but her condition continued to deteriorate despite double doses of Tamiflu, he said.
The girl was too young to be given another anti-viral drug, Relenza, which is approved for treatment only in children who are seven years and older, he said.
South Korea has reported two other cases of Tamiflu-resistant patients. Its death toll from swine flu has reached 118.
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