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US short of children's medicine amid 'tripledemic': media

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-11-26 06:40

The US is facing a shortage of key medications used for children amid outbreaks of respiratory syncytial virus, flu and COVID-19, also called a "tripledemic," the New York Post reported on Wednesday.

Officials have declared a shortage of the first-line antibiotics amoxicillin and Augmentin which are used to treat bacterial infections, according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

Tamiflu, the most common flu medication in the US, and albuterol, an inhaler for asthma and to open airways in the lungs, are also in short supply.

Parents have reported spending hours going from one drug store to another to track down the medications.

FILE PHOTO: A doctor shows a sample test kit at a drive-through clinic for coronavirus, flu and RSV, at UW Medical Center Northwest in Seattle, Washington, US March 9, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

There is "high" or "very high" respiratory virus activity in more than half of the country's states, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. About 1 out of 5 tests for RSV in the country were positive last week.

"Right now, we are having severe shortages of medications. There's no Tamiflu for children," Renae Kraft, a relief pharmacist, told CNN.

"In my 25 years of being a pediatrician, I've never seen anything like this," said Stacene Maroushek, a pediatric infectious disease specialist.

The cumulative hospitalization rate hasn't been this high this early in flu season in over a decade, the report alleged.

Demand for Tamiflu, a flu medicine, is at a tenfold high for this time of year, according to GoodRx, an American healthcare company.

Pharmaceutical companies are trying to ramp up production of the medications — but it will take time.

The companies manufacture the drugs based on orders placed prior to flu season, and this year's orders didn't foresee how bad the season would be.

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