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Health Minister: Tamiflu Not for All A/H1N1 Cases in Australia

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The anti-viral drug Tamiflu will not be prescribed for every person who is diagnosed with A/H1N1 flu, according to Australian Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon.

"We are asking the community to understand that in most instances, as this is mild, Tamiflu will not be prescribed for all situations, particularly for those who are a little bit later in their disease and not exhibiting any serious symptoms. It is most effective quite early on," Roxon told reporters on Thursday.

She said there were some restrictions on the commercial supplies of Tamiflu because of high demand, but national stockpiles of the anti-viral were still available.

Roxon revealed there were 1,275 confirmed cases of A/H1N1 flu in Australia while 25 people have been admitted to hospital, including four in intensive care in Melbourne.

The National Pandemic Emergency Committee, chaired by Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet head Terry Moran, will meet on Friday to discuss Australia's response to the virus.

However, Roxon said any decision by the World Health Organization to move to a pandemic phase would not necessarily change Australia's management of the A/H1N1 virus.

(Xinhua News Agency June 11, 2009)