Excreted Tamiflu found in rivers | Science News

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Excreted Tamiflu found in rivers

If birds hosting flu virus are exposed to the waterborne pollutant, they might develop drug-resistant strains, chemists worry

By
6:24pm, September 30, 2009

The premier flu-fighting drug is contaminating rivers downstream of sewage-treatment facilities, researchers in Japan confirm. The source: urinary excretion by people taking oseltamivir phosphate, best known as Tamiflu.

Concerns are now building that birds, which are natural influenza carriers, are being exposed to waterborne residues of Tamiflu’s active form and might develop and spread drug-resistant strains of seasonal and avian flu.

For their new study, Gopal Ghosh and his colleagues at Kyoto University sampled water discharged from three local sewage treatment plants and

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