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An old drug effective against the human and bird flu virus?

With the threat of a bird flu pandemic, the world is looking for an effective drug or vaccine that is effective against bird flu. Singapore's defence scientists believe they have found an old drug, chloroquine, which is no longer effective against malaria may be used to fight the human flu virus. This was revealed at the opening of the fifth International Symposium on Protection against Toxic Substances.

The scientists who are from the Singapore DSO National Laboratories normally works on chemical defence and study threats from biological agents, radioactive materials and explosives targeted at medical ailments and threats to national securities from bio-chemical hazards. They have started trials early this year which have shown that chloroquine can stop the human flu virus from spreading in infected cells.

The scientists are now working with researchers from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, United States, on H5N1 antibodies that could protect and treat people with bird flu.

Source: The Star

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