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AUSTIN, Texas — Upper respiratory viruses are on the rise, and as people get together for the holidays, it’s important to take extra precautions.
We’re in the middle of what’s being nicknamed a “triple-demic.” COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and flu cases are on the rise, and hospitals are busy.
“The volume is extraordinary right now,” said Desmar Walkes, Austin Public Health medical director.
One Austin doctor said the number of flu cases are the highest he’s seen in a couple of years.
“Here at the clinic, I’ve seen a ton of Flu A,” said Dr. Mason Mileur, Austin medical associate.
And this spike in flu cases means people are scrambling for medication. With more people sick, some drugs’ are low in stock.
“The oral suspensions for the Tamiflu and with the Tylenol fever reducers, I can’t order right now,” said Matthew Warken with 38th Street Pharmacy. “And that’s the brand name and generic.”
The biggest concern is for parents who have kids because they can’t get the liquid version of Tylenol, and many are only finding the capsules or tablets that are sometimes hard for kids to swallow.
Tamiflu, as Warken said, is a prescribed medication that’s also low in stock.
“That’s gone in and out,” said Warken. “There’s one point a couple of weeks ago I wasn’t able to get it.”
However, there are other options for flu medication.
“XOFLUZAR – what’s great about that one … instead of taking it for five days, you just take one dose and you’re done,” said Mileur.
When it comes to not being able to find fever reducers, there are some other things you can do do help control your body’s temperature.
“You can always do ice packs under your arms, on your head,” said Mileur. “Those are the kind of two great ways to reduce your fever the natural way. I don’t know if I’d tell you to jump on an ice bath, but I guess if you get desperate enough.”
With flu and respiratory illness cases only expected to get worse over the holidays, experts recommend to get vaccinated from the flu and COVID-19.
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