EDMONTON — Alberta Health Services is reporting Canada’s second drug-resistant case of pandemic swine flu — one of about two dozen such cases around the world.
Officials were busy Tuesday trying to determine if anyone who came into contact with the Alberta woman last month has been infected, but they were optimistic that this was an isolated case.
“The patient was not hospitalized and has since recovered,” said Dr. Gerry Predy, Alberta’s senior medical officer of health.
“This is not unexpected. However, it is important because oseltamivir is one of our main tools in dealing with the pandemic. But we don’t think this is going to change our approach in any way because it is an isolated case as far as we know at this time.”
Health officials say any resistance to oseltamivir, also known as Tamiflu, could possibly lead to further cases of resistant disease and might affect how the disease spreads.
Officials were not sure if she developed an infection with the resistant strain from the outset or developed the resistance during treatment.
About 24 cases of drug-resistant swine flu have been reported around the world, including an earlier case involving a 60-year-old man from Quebec who was given the drug when he was exposed to swine flu because his son was ill. He recovered and didn’t appear to spread resistant virus to people around home.
Other resistant cases have been reported in the United States, Denmark, Australia, China and Singapore.
Predy would not reveal where the Alberta woman lives, her age or whether she was suffering from other health problems.
Predy said the drug-resistant case will not affect Alberta’s plan to roll out a swine flu vaccination program this fall, probably in November.
“This is nothing that should cause any kind of concern,” Predy said.