Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Weapon That Could Hurt Us?

A disturbing report from Kyota University, in Japan, where researchers have been measuring levels of a chemical called oseltamivir carboxilate or OC. They’ve been measuring it in streams. Now why is that an important chemical, well, OC is the active ingredient in Tamiflu. The researchers have been measuring this in streams because they have been trying to see if people are actually excreting the by-product of Tamiflu. It’s going in the sewage system and into streams. The answer is yes, the levels are up because it can’t effectively be filtered in a sewage treatment plant. Now, here’s the problem, birds come in and drink from these streams. They’re actually getting protected from some different strains of the flu. The fear is that resistant strains could develop, flu virus could change and mutant in these birds and cause bigger problems down the road. In other words, the weapon that we’re using to help us in the battle against H1N1 could ultimately hurt us.

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