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EUR: WHO sends 2.4 million Tamiflu courses to poorer nations

03 May 2009 3:13 AM

GENEVA, May 2 AP - The World Health Organisation says it's sent 2.4 million treatments of anti-flu drug Tamiflu to 72 developing countries preparing themselves against a possible swine flu pandemic.

WHO's global alert and response director says "at this point it's important that all countries have access to antivirals".

Dr Mike Ryan says the drugs came from a WHO stockpile donated by drugmaker Roche Holding AG. He did not name the recipients.

Ryan also says WHO is not yet raising its alert to a full pandemic as the virus has yet to cause sustained transmission outside of North America.

WHO upped its tally of confirmed human cases earlier on Saturday to 615, with 17 deaths. The rise largely reflects recent confirmation of older cases in Mexico, the epicentre of the outbreak.