Flu outbreak causes shortage in Tamiflu

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. Across the nation and right here in North Platte pharmacies are reporting a shortage of Tamiflu due to the widespread flu epidemic.

Tamiflu is an anti-viral medicine used to treat and prevent the flu.

News 2 spoke with local pharmacies who said they're having a hard time keeping the generic liquid version on the shelves, but do have it available in the capsule.

Pharmacists at Walmart say luckily the shortage hasn't hit their store.

"We stay in touch with what the CDC is putting out there," said North Platte Walmart Pharmacy Clinical Services Manager Todd Larimer. "You watch the flu tracker to see which way it is moving across the country and when it gets closer we really start to ramp up making sure we have things on hand and that way we can take care of our customers when they come in."

However, they are seeing an increase of people getting the flu vaccine.

"You don't even have any energy to get out of bed; it can be very debilitating," Larimer said. "If it gets severe enough you're talking about pneumonia, respiratory problems, septic problems, people are dying from septic shock; there is a lot of things that can go into this thing. So it should be something that we never take lightly even on years when they say it is not that bad, never take it lightly."

Pharmacists encourage good hand washing and stocking up on lysol and other antibacterial items to prevent exposure.

So far, 27 people have died from the flu in Nebraska.