Prescription needed to fight flu getting expensive, harder to find, doctors say

ATLANTA — Getting critical medicine to fight the flu is becoming more difficult.

Channel 2 Action News first told you about a Tamiflu shortage last week. Now some doctors are confirming the shortage.

The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting widespread flu activity in 49 states, including Georgia.

So far, 12 people in Georgia have died and more than 400 have been hospitalized.

On Wednesday, doctors at Peachtree Immediate Medical in Forsyth County saw a first-of-its-kind flu case they say should be motivation to get your shot.

“We swabbed (the patient) for the flu and she came up flu A and B positive,” said Dr. Nadine Halliburton-Foster.


“First time (I've seen) together flu A and B. I didn’t think that was possible but yes,” Halliburton-Foster said.

She sees more than 60 patients daily, the vast majority with flu-like symptoms.

“About 30 to 40 of those patients are positive for the flu,” Halliburton-Foster said.

She warns this year’s flu may not come with fever. At the first sign of symptoms, go see a doctor, she said. Flu medicine is most effective in the first 48 hours of symptoms, and getting that medicine is getting harder.

“We have a Tamiflu shortage now,” Halliburton-Foster said. “You may have to drive to get it.”

Children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are now at the front of the line, ahead of healthier flu patients.

“However, we are seeing people who are healthy be hospitalized,” Halliburton-Foster said.

And that can be compromising for doctors.

“Doctors should basically use their judgment and know that there is a shortage,” Halliburton-Foster said.