Miami Valley flu surge causing cold, flu medicine shortage

DAYTON, Ohio (VDTN) – With Christmas fast approaching, families have a new item on their shopping list: flu medicine, and the rise in cases is making it harder to find.

With the extent of the disease’s spread in the community, Cedar Care Village Pharmacy Director Justin Coby said it could indicate we’re headed for a drug shortage.

“It’s the usual supply and demand,” Kobe said. “The demand is high. Flu rates are the worst they’ve been in a decade.”

Whether you or your children need medication to treat flu symptoms, or antibiotics for an infection, these medications are hard to find right now.

“You’re going to see people struggling to find those products on the shelves because of how aggressive this flu season is,” Coby said.

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2 NEWS reporter Alison Gens walked through several Miami Valley stores Friday to look at drug supplies and saw empty shelves and even a sign telling customers they were short on supplies.

Kobe said prescription and over-the-counter drugs are currently in short supply and there are a number of factors, including two previous slow flu seasons.

“We knew it was going to be a bad season, but if you think about it, from the point of production through the supply chain to the end user, they should have known that for a long time,” Kobe said.

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Cobi recommends calling different stores and local pharmacies to see what they have in stock.

If you can’t find the medication you need, talk to your doctor about your options for treating your symptoms at home.

Dr. Jordan Knox, a family physician at Kettering Health Springfield, said the key is plenty of rest and water.

“It’s best to take frequent small sips of water, two teaspoons every three to five minutes,” Knox said. “It really adds up, and it’s easy enough on the stomach.”

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Knox said that with drug shortages, the best step is prevention. He said everyone should wash their hands, stay home when they’re sick and even wear a mask when they’re not feeling well.

He also said it’s not too late to get a flu shot.

“With holiday travel, gatherings, if you haven’t already gotten your flu shot this season, get it in the next few days or as soon as possible,” Knox said.

Flu season typically peaks between December and February, and some experts predict supply chain problems could continue early next year.

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