Flu Pandemic Slacks Off, But 'It's Not Over'
Tamiflu-resistant cluster crops up in NC; 3 of 4 patients dead
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2009 4:25 PM CST
Four patients in North Carolina developed a strain of flu resistant to the antiviral drug Tamiflu (shown); three have died.   (AP Photo/Michael Probst/file)
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(Newser) – The swine flu outbreak is slacking off in some areas, but don't get complacent, officials say: Pandemics naturally fluctuate. "There can be multiple ups and downs over the season," says a CDC doctor. "We have many weeks ahead of us where disease is going to be circulating." Infections in people under 65 have dropped in the past month, but the holiday season is a recipe for transmission.

"Some people say, well, all the kids get together with their grandparents and that's a lot of exchange of warmth and love, but a little exchange of viruses, too," the doctor tells Reuters. Meanwhile, four patients at the Duke University Medical Center contracted a Tamiflu-resistant strain of the virus, the largest cluster so far of people whose infections resisted treatment with the antiviral drug. Three of the patients died, but all had serious underlying medical conditions, the News & Observer reports.