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Supplies of Flu Vaccines and Medications Dwindling

Posted on January 11 2013

In recent weeks the country has seen an explosion of the flu virus. Now it appears this explosion is draining the supply of both flu symptom medications and the flu vaccine across the country. The makers of Tamiflu, a popular prescription medication that eases the symptoms of the flu, have been working with the FDA to meet the demands of the public. Even with the added help, many pharmacies are running low or have run out of the liquid suspension formulated for children.  Additionally, Sanofi is reporting that they have run out of 4 to 6 formulations of its seasonal flu vaccine Fluzone. With rising patient numbers and a seemingly no end in sight to the flu spread, many are questioning why this season is so bad. Health experts have a few theories; one theory is that last year’s weak flu season has actually instigated this harsher one, lowering patient’s immunities to the strain (H3N2) which was the same active strain in the 2011-2012 flu season, but no one caught it last year. Another theory is simply since last year’s flu season was so mild that this year is simply catching up, forcing healthcare professionals to take on two-years of cases in only one. Fortunately, there are many things that can be done at home to protect against the flu, all of which should be in practice regardless of whether one received a flu shot. Regular hand washing with antibacterial soap, coughing into the elbow, and staying home when sick are highly recommended. Health officials encourage seeing a primary physician if the flu is suspected. They urge many to stay out of the ER and leave that space for those in high-risk groups including children, the elderly, and those who are chronically ill. If you have to go to the ER for treatment, expect a long wait time. Those with milder symptoms or not in a high-risk group will be the last patients to be seen. This type of overcrowding can also help spread germs and viruses, so proceed with caution. Mountainside Medical Equipment carries a wide variety of products to help combat the flu season. Visit our website and shop our lines of facemasks, antibacterial hand soaps, and pain relievers for aching muscles. Order online and take advantage of our great, low prices and fantastic shipping options. Orders can also be placed by calling 1-888-687-4334 and speaking with one of our knowledgeable Medical Supply Specialists. Sources: MedPage Today - http://www.medpagetoday.com/InfectiousDisease/URItheFlu/36801 Reuters - http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/11/us-usa-flu-idUSBRE9080WD20130111 The New York Times - Health - http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/10/health/childrens-flu-medicine-in-short-supply.html

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