Whew! The Early Flu Season May Have Peaked — But Is Another Wave Coming?
The CDC’s weekly influenza report showed that the percentage of outpatient visits to health care providers for respiratory illnesses has declined for a second week in a row. Meanwhile, some doctors across the country are reporting shortages of oseltamivir, a generic antiviral drug used to treat flu.
Early Flu Season In U.S. May Be Peaking Early, Too
This year’s abnormally early flu season is showing signs it may be peaking in parts of the country, data the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released on Friday suggested. (Branswell, 12/16)
America's Historically Bad Flu Season May Be Peaking
"The concern is, the viruses have been so weird this year, we don’t know," Sarah Ash Combs, an emergency department physician at Children's National Hospital, told Axios. "Whereas we can typically predictively say, 'OK that was the peak, we’re now on the down spike. We don’t know: 'Is there going to be a second spike? A January, a February, a March spike?" (Reed, 12/16)
On the shortage of antivirals and antibiotics —
CDC Issues Guidance On Use Of Flu Antiviral Oseltamivir Amid Limited Supply
This week, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued interim guidance to physicians to prioritize treatment of the flu in high-risk patients after receiving numerous anecdotal reports of shortages of the generic antiviral drug oseltamivir in some areas of the country amid a surge of respiratory illnesses. (Van Beusekom, 12/16)
Antibiotic, Drug Shortages Highlight America's Supply Chain Problems — Again
Health systems and pharmacies are running out of antibiotics like amoxicillin and other commonly used drugs just as the worst flu season in more than a decade is colliding with RSV and a rebound of COVID cases. It highlights the U.S. vulnerabilities, yet again, when it comes to its ability to supply some of the most basic health care products — even children's Motrin. (Reed, 12/19)
The New York Times:
Can A Federally Funded ‘Netflix Model’ Fix The Broken Market For Antibiotics?
Recent shortages of amoxicillin, an effective antibiotic that pediatricians have long relied upon to treat strep throat and ear infections in children, have put a spotlight on an urgent global threat: the world’s shrinking arsenal of potent antibiotics and the lack of incentives to develop them. The broken marketplace for new antimicrobial drugs has stirred debate over a bill, languishing in Congress, that would dramatically reconfigure the way antibiotics are discovered and sold in the United States. (Jacobs, 12/16)