Demand for medications rise as flu cases increase

Health experts with the CDC say this is the worst flu season they've seen in 10 years. Here's why:

Posted: Feb 1, 2018 7:58 AM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Health experts with the CDC say this is the worst flu season they've seen in 10 years. They're comparing it to the swine flu epidemic.

Doctors try to predict what strains will be the biggest threat. Dr. John Bolinger, Vice President of Medical Affairs at Union Hospital says flu strains are hard to predict because the flu has many strains. The strains are cyclical and doctors are trying to predict which strain will come up in the cycle.

Additionally, each strain can have mutations. So they have to predict the right strain and if that strain will have any mutations. Bolinger also shares, even if a flu shot is not 100% effective, getting one can lessen the overall severity of your case of the flu.

Here’s a look at where flu cases stand nationwide:

The CDC graph shows the number of hospital visits for people with flu symptoms in the past eight years. The red line that reaches the highest point on the graph -- represents the 2017 – 2018 flu season. The other colors are years past.

This year is above the average number of visits.

As flu cases increase, so is the demand for antiviral medications. In fact, pharmacies are facing shortages right now. In some cases, they are even running out of medications, according to CBS News.

One common medication that people take to fight the cold is known as Tamiflu by its brand name. The generic form is called Ostletamvir. It's not uncommon for it to cause nausea, vomiting, headaches or pain.

But some parents are worried that Tamiflu causes confusion or abnormal behavior for children.
“Hallucinations, self-injury behavior that sort of thing. It’s not actually super clear cut whether it’s the Tamiflu that is causing that or the influenza itself,” said Dr. Amy Edwards from University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s. “Because influenza can cause something called encephalitis which is inflammation of the brain.”

Edwards says neuropsychiatric side effects usually are rare.

The makers of Tamiflu had no comment. They do say patients and children should be watched closely for changes in behavior while on the medication.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 33558

Reported Deaths: 2110
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9616571
Lake3538185
Cass15897
Allen145168
St. Joseph124834
Elkhart116328
Hendricks116171
Hamilton115693
Johnson1093108
Madison58559
Porter51627
Bartholomew50034
Clark49241
LaPorte42423
Howard39526
Tippecanoe3903
Jackson3791
Delaware37736
Shelby36822
Hancock32728
Floyd31839
Boone30935
Morgan27824
Vanderburgh2652
Montgomery23517
White2318
Decatur22431
Clinton2231
Noble21121
Grant20621
Harrison19221
Dubois1923
Henry16910
Greene16824
Monroe16612
Warrick16628
Dearborn16621
Vigo1648
Lawrence15423
Miami1411
Putnam1367
Jennings1304
Orange12522
Scott1193
Kosciusko1111
Franklin1098
Ripley1086
Carroll922
Marshall901
Daviess8516
Steuben812
Newton7710
Wayne776
Fayette767
Wabash762
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Washington521
Jay500
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Clay471
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Randolph463
Pulaski460
Jefferson431
Whitley393
Starke363
Sullivan341
Owen341
Brown331
DeKalb331
Perry310
Benton300
Knox290
Wells280
Huntington272
Tipton251
Crawford240
Blackford242
Fountain202
Switzerland200
Spencer191
Parke170
Posey160
Gibson142
Adams131
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin110
Vermillion100
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0164

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 117455

Reported Deaths: 5270
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook762663570
Lake8063287
DuPage7543362
Kane6188170
Will5442269
Winnebago215654
McHenry151471
St. Clair109179
Kankakee87144
Kendall76919
Rock Island64624
Champaign6177
Madison56558
Boone42817
DeKalb3924
Sangamon34629
Jackson26810
Randolph2674
McLean21713
Peoria2128
Ogle2023
Stephenson1992
Macon19519
Clinton18117
Union1519
LaSalle14713
Whiteside13512
Iroquois1314
Coles12514
Unassigned1250
Out of IL1191
Warren1130
Jefferson10116
Knox970
Grundy952
Monroe9411
McDonough878
Lee791
Cass710
Tazewell714
Henry680
Williamson642
Pulaski510
Marion500
Jasper457
Macoupin452
Adams441
Perry420
Montgomery391
Vermilion391
Morgan351
Christian334
Jo Daviess320
Livingston322
Douglas260
Menard210
Fayette203
Ford201
Jersey201
Woodford192
Mason180
Washington180
Mercer170
Hancock160
Shelby161
Bureau151
Carroll142
Bond121
Franklin120
Piatt120
Schuyler120
Clark110
Crawford110
Fulton110
Moultrie110
Brown100
Cumberland100
Logan100
Wayne91
Alexander80
Henderson80
Effingham71
Johnson70
Massac70
Saline70
Greene50
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
Wabash20
White20
Calhoun10
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Putnam10
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