Health officials say flu resources are running low

CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - With the widespread flu, some areas of the country are running out of flu tests.

Dr. Byron C. Glenn at Cape Urgent Care and Family Medicine said he has run short on test a few times, but because he gets the test from Southeast, he's never totally run out.

He said he does worry about the accuracy of those flu tests.

That's why he focuses on how his patients are feeling as he decides how to treat them.

"What I look for before I prescribe Tamiflu is how many days out are they," said Dr. Glenn. "If they are three plus days out then I won't go with Tamiflu then but if they are within that 48-hour window they will get Tamiflu but they are also going to get something for these pneumonia type purulent, bloody purulent, bacteria, sinus infections that they have."

Glenn said this year's flu virus is more powerful and has more side effects than strains he's seen in the last five years, and most of his patients have the flu plus other illnesses like strep, ear infections and pneumonia.

And with the widespread flu, Tamiflu is rationed out across the country.

Stephen Byrd, a pharmacist at John's Pharmacy says they haven't run out of Tamiflu yet, but it has been hard to get.

"It's a nationwide shortage generic and name brand it's all been allocated, which is the fancy word for rationed out,  so a lot of times on this level we're not included in that allocation," said Byrd.

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