Flu on the rise causes Tamiflu shortage

Flu on the rise causes Tamiflu shortage


TYLER, TX -- The Brickstreet Pharmacy in Tyler had a full waiting room and a line nearly out the door today.

"It seems like right now, there’s just a lot of people getting the flu, maybe a little more than we saw last year, just a lot of pediatrics. We're seeing a lot of kids getting the flu," Jeffrey Abeldt, pharmacist at Brickstreet Pharmacy, says.
He says they have been swamped with patients asking for the antiviral drug known as Tamiflu. The pharmacists at Brickstreet say they had 12 boxes of Tamiflu stocked just this morning, but now they only have 4 boxes left.

Abeldt believes this year’s flu shot may have played a part in the uprise.

"There’s been talk about the flu shot and the strains and which ones it covered and which ones it didn't," Abeldt says.

The Center for Disease Control reported only a 10% effectiveness rate with this year’s flu shot. This study was based in Australia, where their flu season is months earlier than the United States.

"I think it's a shame, the hospitals are full of people with the flu," pharmacy customer Darla Beaird says.
Darla Beaird’s 2-year-old granddaughter stayed sick for a full 48 hours before she could get the medication she desperately needed.

"They had to wait a whole day to get her Tamiflu before they took her to the emergency room, and couldn't get it until the next evening," Beaird says.  
At least three school districts in East Texas are closing their doors for the rest of the week so the virus won’t continue to spread.

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