World, meet the first drug resistant case of H1N1 swine flu. The bad news has been mostly a foregone conclusion to this point – you’re likely to see drug resistant cases crop up in almost any disease, and researchers have been waiting for the other shoe to drop on a case of H1N1 swine flu that’s unhindered by the Tamiflu treatment that’s been so effective until now.

As far as drug resistant strains go, it’s far from a nightmare scenario. It cropped up in a single, isolated patient in Denmark, who we’re told has recovered after being treated with a different flu drug, Relenza, and early indications are that it’s not a strain that has been found elsewhere in the public yet. More importantly, the strain doesn’t seem to have crossbred with last years seasonal H1N1 flu, a situation that would have the potential to be mightily unpleasant for a great many people.

But with flu season in the offing in the southern hemisphere, and new cases of swine flu continuing to come up on world health radars with troubling regularity, the disease certainly doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. That being the case, a meeting of the minds between H1N1 swine flu and a more deadly or more drug resistant strain of flu isn’t even unlikely. And at the risk of sounding alarmist, that’s plenty of reason for me to keep washing my hands and covering my mouth – especially after taking a good look at just how much area an average cough can cover below.

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