Minister of Health advises population not to abuse antiviral drugs

Álvaro Erazo reiterated that the medicine is useless unless one is already sick.

30 de Abril de 2009 | 15:38 | El Mercurio Online

SANTIAGO.- Minister of Health Álvaro Erazo called on the population to abstain from purchasing antiviral medicines as a preventive measure against swine flu, since the drugs are entirely ineffective unless one is actually ill.

"It is important to communicate to the population that there are no benefits to consuming these antivirals unless advised to do so by a doctor, because unless you have influenza, it is not recommended. If we were to have a case in Chile, the people who need medicine will have it", manifested the health authority in an interview with Radio ADN.

The official also indicated that 60 hospitals throughout the country are prepared to receive people showing symptoms and can administer the corresponding exam to determine the presence of the virus.

Erazo went on to state that authorities are working to improve the time it takes to analyze and return the results of suspicious cases, since only 26 people have pending results.

"We are conducting the exams and the turnaround time has been improved. (The exam) is for the most part very quick (…) but the idea is to have a response in no more than 24 to 48 hours", he affirmed.

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