Verify: Is there a flu relief shortage?

Verify: Is there a shortage on flu relief medicine? (January 10, 2018)

The flu is just a miserable time altogether and if you get sick, all you want is to feel better, right?

But what happens if too many people get sick? That could make for a tough situation.

We've heard from you saying it looks like there are flu relief shortages out there.

ABC10 viewer Jeanne Kirsch wrote

"I want to let you know that Tamiflu is not available in my area (Davis)--or so I was told by my Rite-Aid pharmacist, who also said that i was welcome to call around, but i was too sick. CA was hit hard, and the supply is vanishing."

Tamiflu is what doctors prescribe to treat flu symptoms. It doesn't cure the flu - it just shortens symptoms by 1 to 2 days.

We verified with Nicole Braxley, the Medical Director in the ER at Mercy San Juan who says she is also hearing about a shortage of Tamiflu in pharmacies.

That means the only real remedy that doctors are telling patients is:

  • Get enough rest.
  • Get plenty of fluids. 
  • Wash your hands.
  • And you might want to take a pain reliever.

Symptoms should pass but unfortunately it's something you just have to go through.

Another thing we've heard is that there's a shortage that makes it hard to get iv fluid treatments if you have the flu. Sounds pretty scary right?

We verified and it turns out that there is indeed a shortage, but doctors at Mercy have found a work around and the shortage isn't affecting them. That means if you need a round of antibiotics from an IV, you won't have a problem getting them.

The bag shortage is related to damage caused by hurricanes that devastated Puerto Rico.

Either the pharmaceutical company or manufacturer who makes the bags used for anti-biotics by IV was damaged. A lot of hospitals across the country were affected but most are making sure patients aren't impacted.

© 2018 KXTV-TV


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