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Swine Flu fearful tourists flock for tamilflu

Swine Flu, or the A/H1N1 virus to be more correct, hasn’t hit Italy in a significant way yet, presumably because the hot summer months aren’t conducive to the spread of the virus.

There’s an interesting phenomenon though occuring in the pharmacies of Rimini, where according to the president of the local order of pharmacists, Giulio Mignani, there’s a steady request from tourists in particular  for the high-profile anti-viral drug Tamiflu.

Mignani and other official sources are quick to point out that taking Tamiflu if you haven’t actually got the A/h1N1 virus, and indeed could make the situation more dangerous as it increases the likelihood of the virus mutating and acquiring a resistance.

So why are the tourists flocking to Rimini’s chemists? One simple and banal explanation is that worried tourists who have slight fever and a sore throat are presuming the worst and rushing to self-medicate with the famous anti-viral instead of seeking medical attention. Simple and banal because those symptoms are much more likely to be the result of aggressive use of air-conditioning – something widespread here given the heat of the last three weeks!

So, the official and sensible line is this – if you’re feeling sick or worried, go to the doctor and let them decide what you need. If you’re a tourist in Rimini you can go to one of the special health structures set up every summer for visitors – for example in Piazzale Benedetto Croce (on the beachfront at the end of Via Pascoli around beach #57)

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