Sales of a traditional Chinese medicine against swine flu, which its producer says is especially effective for children, have been launched in China, a local newspaper said on Tuesday.
The China Daily quoted the deputy head of the Beijing traditional Chinese medicine bureau as saying that children with the flu should be cured with “No 2 Cold Medicine” within three days.
“Some children will be cured with only one dose, while others might need two,” Tu Zhitao said.
The World Health Organization said it was not familiar with the traditional Chinese medicine recommended for children and could not comment, the paper said.
Tamiflu and Relenza are so far the only two approved antiviral drugs that are available for treatment of the H1N1 virus.
As the number of H1N1 cases reached 6,196 in Beijing as of Monday, 20 traditional Chinese medical hospitals opened 24-hour anti-H1N1 departments, the paper said.
An unidentified bureau official said the traditional Chinese medicine is very effective and does not harm the stomach, unlike western medicines. “Chinese medicine does not have this side effect. This No 2 cold medicine is an upgrade of former anti-flu medicines,” the paper quoted her as saying.
Other experts said the medicine is basically the same as an ordinary Chinese anti-flu drug.
Nearly 50,000 confirmed swine flu cases have been reported in China. Seven people have died of the disease and 118 are in critical condition.
China was the first country to complete tests of a swine flu vaccine and started the vaccination campaign in September. The country plans to produce up to 360 million doses of the vaccine, and is set to allocate a total of $725 million on efforts to curb the disease.