Pharmacies across the country are reporting intermittent shortages of Tamiflu, the main antiviral medication used to lessen influenza symptoms just days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designated the disease at epidemic levels.
“For people in the risk categories, the young, the pregnant, people with diabetes, people over 65, if they do get the flu, it’s important to get them on the anti-flu medications,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN Saturday.
The flu season has not yet reached its peak, Fauci said, and there is no way to predict where and when flu cases will hit in specific places.
“It will be a significant season,” Fauci said. “Even if you don’t know when it’s going to peak, get your child vaccinated.”
The flu can be dangerous for people in the risk categories, said Fauci, so it’s important to get those people to a physician so they can get on medication. He urged people with healthy children to keep them away from people who are sick, and to keep their children home from school if they do become ill.