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ATLANTA - Four patients at a single hospital tested positive for a type of swine flu that is resistant to Tamiflu, health officials said Friday.
The cases reported at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, over six weeks make up the biggest cluster seen so far in the U.S.
Health officials say a Tamiflu-resistant strain of swine flu has spread between hospital patients.
Five patients on a unit treating people with severe underlying health conditions at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff were infected.
Three appear to have acquired the infection in hospital.
They are thought to be the first confirmed cases of person-to-person transmission of a Tamiflu-resistant strain in the world.
Five patients at a hospital in Wales contracted swine flu that resisted treatment with Roche Holding AG’s Tamiflu, and three more infections are being analyzed, the U.K. Health Protection Agency said today. Four patients had resistance in a North Carolina hospital. A separate mutation that may trigger more severe illness was found in Norway among two patients who died of the flu and one who was severely ill.
While there is little risk posed by the mutations, investigators are monitoring the new clusters closely, according to health officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. Since swine flu was identified in April, there have been 57 cases of the influenza that resist Tamiflu treatment. There have been “sporadic” reports of mutations similar to those in Norway, the CDC’s Anne Schuchat said today in a briefing.