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Flu meds available to treat 27 pct of Tennessee

May 1, 2009
by JUANITA COUSINS
Associated Press

NASHVILLE - Tennessee has plenty of antiviral medications on hand to combat swine flu, according to state health officials who are investigating three probable cases of the disease in the state.

The Tennessee Department of Health has a stockpile of 839,000 Tamiflu and Tamivir antiviral courses, enough doses to cover 12 percent of the state population, said spokeswoman Andrea Turner. The federal government has set aside medicine to treat 15 percent of the population.

Together they give Tennessee enough antivirals to treat 27 percent of its people, exceeding the 25 percent level recommended by the federal government. An Associated Press review of state readiness found only 21 states were meeting that guideline...

 In 2007, Trust for America's Health research group ranked Tennessee in the top seven states in terms of pandemic preparedness for its participation in a federal program to buy antivirals for a potential influenza pandemic and its high number of medical professionals who have volunteered to be part of an emergency corps.

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