From The Telegraph:
"The drive to fight deadly flu pandemics with special antiviral drugs risks creating an untreatable "superflu", the head of -Britain's public health watchdog has warned.
Sir William Stewart, the chairman of the Health Protection Agency, warned that the widespread use of antiviral drugs to treat illnesses, including bird flu and seasonal influenza, is causing- viruses to mutate into drug-resistant- forms.
He claimed that drug-resistant viruses now represented as big a threat to public health as antibiotic-resistant superbug bacteria, such as MRSA. His comments come as bird experts were once again placed on alert for cases of avian flu returning to Britain with migrating birds.
The autumn migration of waterfowl triggered the spread of the deadly H5N1 virus into western Europe and Britain for the first time last year, as the disease spread rapidly in wild birds trying to escape the cold weather. A dead swan discovered in Fife, Scotland, in April this year, was the only bird flu case to be found in a wild bird in Britain.
Officials at the Department of Health confirmed that, last week, it received the last of its stockpile of 14.6 million doses of the antiviral drug Tamiflu, which will be used if bird flu mutates into a human flu pandemic.
But Sir William, a former chief scientific adviser to the Government, fears that the drug will be useless if the flu virus develops resistance to it during the mass medication that would be necessary in a pandemic.
"With pandemic flu, once it develops antiviral resistance in one area, it is likely to spread quickly," he told The Sunday Telegraph. "One of our concerns is that we get Tamiflu-resistant strains emerging.
"Unfortunately, it is unknown if Tamiflu will be effective when pandemic flu emerges and how long it will be effective for. Anti-viral resistance is becoming as big a problem as antibiotic resistance." Sir William stressed, however, that it was better to have stocks of antiviral drugs that helped patients fight non-resistant flu strains than no drugs at all to protect the population.
Meanwhile, last night, bird experts warned that the spectre of bird flu infecting flocks in Britain would return this winter, as ducks and swans migrated south over the coming months."
Face it, at some point there will be a pandemic plague-like disease modern society will be unable to stop or cope with. It is a historical fact, there will be a bug that beats us in the game every once in a while.
I like to think of H5N1 as the test run. If we can stop it, then we can stop most anything. That doesn't mean we can stop everything - and at some point, a virus will pop up that wipes out millions and millions. Technology designed to stop infection has the double-edged effect of giving the diseases something to mutate against.
Can our technology always beat infection? No, and anyone who thinks it can is a fool.