The CVS Drug Store on Fulton and Wales was crowded with customers waiting to receive flu shots and flu prescriptions on Tuesday morning. CVS offers flu shots every day, but high demand and limited supplies have made it difficult. Currently, CVS is giving flu shots to those under 18 years of age. They are waiting for another flu shot supply for older people to come in sometime next week.
The lack of flu shot supplies is not unusual. Foxnews.com reported the flu has reached epidemic proportions in the United States with 7.3 percent of deaths being caused by the flu last week. Forty-seven states have reported widespread flu activity. Ohio has reported an unusually high level of flu activity.
The flu season in Ohio started in October and can run as long as the end of March. Flu can cause fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and body aches.
"There is nothing that can really help someone prevent getting the flu," said Discount Drug Mart pharmacy technician Angela Wright. "We have definitely seen an increase this year and we often run out of flu shots.”
Although there is not much you can do to avoid the flu, there are some habits that may help. WebMD states that the most important ways to avoid the flu is to cover your mouth and nose when sneezing, use soap and water to wash your hands as often as possible, do not rub your eyes, nose or mouth especially when out in public and handling surfaces that may have germs and most importantly, try to keep yourself healthy with proper diet and exercise. Those who stay healthy have stronger immune systems.
If you feel yourself catching the flu, Wright recommends the homeopathic route.
"We have a medicine called Oscillococcinum, which reduces flu symptoms and usually makes people feel a bit better," Wright said.
Other ways to make yourself feel better include staying home and avoiding contact with other people, resting and keeping germs away by washing hands, linens and anything that you may come in contact with.
WebMD along with pharmacists in the area said that you should seek medical help if you are having the following symptoms: breathing trouble, bluish skin color, fever with rash, trouble eating, dizziness, vomiting and pain or pressure in your chest and abdomen.
"The best thing to do is stay away from people who have flu like symptoms," Wright said. The Discount Drug Mart and most pharmacies in the area offer flu vaccines for $25. It is recommended that you should call before hand in order to see if shots are available or in stock.