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Flu epidemic in central Illinois causing a shortage of medication

Clinics throughout Springfield said the number of patients they are seeing is double what they usually do.(WICS)

A flu epidemic is hitting central Illinois hard.

“Up to last week, we had already exceeded the national average or national baseline,” said Mazloum Eman, MD, with HSHS Medical Group.

Clinics throughout Springfield said the number of patients they are seeing is double what they usually do.

Many of those patients are sick with the flu, according to Dr.Eman.

One medication used to treat the flu is Tamiflu.

“Tamiflu is prescribed for a lot of the cases unless they have had symptoms for more than 24 to 48 hours,” explained Marilyn S. Robins, APRN, CNP with Springfield Clinic Prompt Care.

Tamiflu helps decrease symptoms and reduce the length of the flu.

However, local pharmacists said the huge number of flu cases has led to a shortage of the medication.

Rachel Gasperin, a Springfield mom took her son to the doctor and saw the lack of Tamiflu firsthand.

“He was diagnosed with Influenza A and immediately they said hey we’re going to put in a prescription for Tamiflu, but a lot of the pharmacies here in Springfield are out so we’re going to send you to Walgreens in Sherman,” explained Gasperin.

She then made the journey to get her son’s medication.

“I was able to get out there and when I did the pharmacist told me they only had three bottles left so I was lucky to get out there when I did,” said Gasperin.

Many pharmacists tell Newschannel 20 once they get the Tamiflu in it immediately rubs out, so now they’re making sure to order extra every day.

If a person is sick and does not want to go to the doctor they can call HSHS Anytime Care 24 hours a day and speak virtually with a doctor.

The number is 1-844-391-4747.

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