Influenza Activity Still Widespread in Nebraska

CRETE –  Although Nebraska continues to have widespread flu activity, both the number of positive tests and the number of people hospitalized with flu were decreased last week. In addition, according to Public Health Solutions, the number of cases caused by influenza A viruses is decreasing, while the number of cases caused by influenza B is rising. Influenza B usually causes milder illness.

While some states and big cities have experienced shortages of the anti-viral medication Tamiflu, overall, this has not been a problem within the PHS district. While a handful of pharmacies reported some delays in getting the generic, liquid form of Tamiflu, (oseltamivir), all reported having an adequate supply of either generic or name-brand Tamiflu capsules on their shelves. According to disease surveillance nurse, Kate Lange, “It’s still a good idea to call your pharmacy to make sure they have your prescribed anti-viral medication available before you drive to the store, and if your pharmacy doesn’t have what you need, you may need to contact other area pharmacies in the area to get your prescription filled.”

Tamiflu is most effective when started within 48 hours of getting flu symptoms. It may be used to treat flu in people 2 weeks of age and older. It’s also used to prevent flu in people age one year and older, who are at increased risk for death from flu and who have been exposed to the virus. Tamiflu’s most common side effects are, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and headache. As with any prescription medication, it is important to take Tamiflu as prescribed until it is all gone.

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