Keep in mind, everyone around here seems to have forgotten about flu. It is never mentioned, I don't think I hear it on the news at all. However, Texas Children's Hospital still announces, when they call you for an appointment reminder, that they are screening for flu. This has been in place since the pandemic began.
Those of you who have been here for awhile may remember that my youngest daughter has Cystic Fibrosis (CF). We found out this afternoon that her best friend, with whom we all spent a lot of time yesterday evening (cramped in a car as well as at a restaurant), has developed flu and strep throat. According to his mom's facebook posts, he feels horrible.
Given the risk to our daughter, we decided to try to get her some Tamiflu. The pediatrician was already closed and we couldn't reach her CF nurse. So we put it off, but when we picked her up from daycare she was slightly warm, and indeed she had a very very slight fever as measured under the arm. While there we learned that, apparently, there has been a lot of flu in the 2-year old class. Another child, I was say probably an after-schooler, came to the office while we were there, shivering terribly (it was 80 here today). I would guess he was easily 102-103 based on how cold he appeared.
At this point we decided to contact the pulmonary oncall doctor at Texas Children's. The conversation I had with the doctor (probably a resident) was interesting. I asked for prophylactic Tamiflu. She said she needed to check with another doctor, as she hasn't written any prophylaxis prescriptions, they have just been writing for patients who have flu (sounds rather like they have seen a lot of them).
In late summer 2009 we received a prescription for Tamiflu for our daughter so we could get it if we needed it. In fact, we picked up the powder and kept it on hand to mix when we needed it. Pharmacies later ran out of the powder and had to compound it.
We picked up her Tamiflu tonight. Our pharmacy does *not* compound. But, this Tamiflu was compounded (adult dose capsules were broken open and mixed with water, the manufacturer provides instructions on how to do this). The implication is that there has been so much flu in children around here that they are out of the pediatric formulation, much as what happened in fall of 2009. I wonder what it is like elsewhere in Houston. I will have to ask our pulmonary doctor when our daughter goes for her routine checkup on Monday.
Thanks for the detailed update. I suspect the shortages are widespread. The vaccine is not very effective at this time, and P&I deaths will be at 8.25% tomorrow, representing the 4th week in a row that it is above 8% and above the epidemic threshold.
H1N1 doesn't read agency or media reports or press releases. It is alive and well and increasing in frequency.