Pharmacies and clinics across North Texas shortage supplies of flu vaccine as there’s heavy demand of hospitalizations caused a spike in demand.
Some stores at the Preston Road Pharmacy in University Park has been shortage of supplies for days, even as hundreds of people kept calling while some stores where shots were available quickly ran out.
The increased demand of flu vaccine follows reports that many people have died of the flu. H1N1 appears to be the predominant strain so far this flu season and that concerns state health officials because unlike other influenza strains, swine flu can result in lethal pneumonia even in young, healthy people.
The flu fatalities confirmed by the state were in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Lassen and Stanislaus countries.
Dr. Mark Till, chariman of emergency medicine at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas said that the number of people infected with flu appears to be normal but those people seem to be sicker. In addition to having a fever, cough and body aches many people are coming down with influenza pneumonia.
Country health department reports show that about one-quarter of the people who have been died or been admitted into intensive care with the flu had no other major medical condition.
Health officials said that the problem doesn;t seem to be a widespread shortage of the vaccine. Instead, stores may simply have been caught off guard by the huge surge in demand. The country health department will continue to provide shots on Monday.
IN THE KNOW: Avoiding the virus
Flu shots: Doctors urge you to get immunized if you haven’t already. The shot is considered the best defense against the H1N1 strain.
Other prevention: Wash your hands, and avoid being around sick people. If you have the flu, stay home from work.
How is it treated? : Normal fever, cough and achiness can often be treated with antiviral drugs. Severe shortness of breath or a sudden increase in the severity of symptoms might require further medical attention, doctors say.