AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The High Plains is in the middle of flu season and the area is also seeing an uptick of other respiratory illnesses, like RSV and COVID-19, with this uptick in cases comes to a shortage of medications to fight them.
“We’re seeing a tremendous amount of RSV and flu, a couple of kids getting COVID every now and then, but mostly it’s been RSV and flu and compared to the previous years. It’s pretty nasty,” said Texas Tech Physicians Pediatrician Dr. Anders Leverton.
Dr. Leverton said this year’s admissions look similar to before the pandemic and added it’s not the worst he has ever seen, but it is a change from recent years and the thought is due to kids not being exposed to these common viruses during the pandemic.
He said that the city of Amarillo is essentially out of one common medication used to combat the flu–Tamiflu.
But Dr. Leverton said if you don’t have Tamiflu, don’t panic.
“That doesn’t mean you can’t get better. The same with RSV, like flu, you want to treat it with fluids, supplemental care, supportive care, making sure your child is staying hydrated and just keeping an eye on them,” said Dr. Leverton.
Mark Vogler, a pharmacist at Martin Tipton Pharmacy added that they are also seeing a shortage of Tamiflu and amoxicillin, as well as certain over-the-counter fever-reducing medications.
But Vogler said they are working to make sure patients have those medications.
“We are having to compound several of those for doctors, those have to be patient-specific, but we can compound some of those to get around these shortages. If you don’t find one at one store, keep calling around and if don’t find it that day, call the next day and see if we got it because we are staying on top of it, trying to get in what we can for people for various manufacturers,” said Vogler.
CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, and United Family all provided us with statements on what customers can do when it comes to getting certain medications:
We‘re currently seeing increased demand for cold, flu and pain relief products. We’
re committed to meeting our customersneeds and are working with our suppliers to ensure continued access to these items. In the event a local store experiences a temporary product shortage, our teams have a process in place to replenish supply.
Despite increased demand for cold & flu medications as a result of this year`s severe cold and respiratory virus season, Walgreens remains able to meet customer needs for over-the-counter products at this time. Our teams work year-round to forecast and prepare for increases in demand, and we will continue to work with our diverse set of suppliers and distributors to best serve our customers. While inventory is moving rapidly, our team members are prepared to update shelves with supply throughout the day.Walgreens
Sporadic shortages of certain cold and flu medications are impacting supply on shelves for retailers across the country. As always, The United Family is diligently working to serve guests by getting them the products they need. Our pharmacy teams also encourage the public to get their annual vaccines which can help prevent severe illness during flu season. In addition to prevention through vaccination, guests can turn to alternatives in our living well departments.United Family
Dr. Leverton said that flu symptoms should last seven to ten days. If you have a fever lasting longer than that and you are on Tamiflu or another treatment and it is not getting better, you should be checked out by a physician.