Flu, treatment shortage continue to affect patients, medical professionals

Flu, treatment shortage continue to affect patients, medical professionals
(Source: KOLD News 13)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The nationwide Tamiflu shortage is still affecting those sick with the flu in Tucson.

Many people who are prescribed the antiviral flu treatment, can't get it.  Dr. Christine Donnelly, Chief Medical Officer at Carondelet Medical Group, says in the past couple of weeks some pharmacies haven't had it in stock.

"Recently, with the increased cases there's been some shortage where they had to order it in and it's been a few days wait which has been a problem because it's best when it's started within the first 48 hours of illness," she said.

Donnelly says if you are unable to get Tamiflu, there really isn't another good option they typically prescribe. In that case, she recommends you rest, drink fluids, and eat chicken soup.

Donnelly also said the fact that our local medical professionals aren't immune to the flu is another issue.

She says since many haven't been exposed to this particular strain before, it's hitting their offices really hard.

"Within our health-care group probably a good 50 percent of our providers have fallen ill to this strain of flu this year," she said. "So obviously that impacts the care that we're able to provide patients when we ourselves are sick as providers."

The good news she says is now that they have gotten sick their immune systems will be ready if they see this strain again.

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