Doctors Struggle to Keep up with Flu Epidemic

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A 22-year-old woman from Oklahoma is one of the latest victims to die from the deadly flu virus sweeping the country.

The season has not even hit its peak and doctors and hospitals are already overwhelmed.

The vaccine is now in short supply, and many Americans are fighting a losing battle against this year's virus.

"We are all a little overwhelmed, not only the practitioners, but the caregivers in general," Dr. Randy Tartakoff, with Holy Name Hospital, said.

Doctors, hospitals and pharmacies are all struggling to keep up. One Boston hospital was forced to turn office space into bed space to make room for patients.

"And it feels like it hasn't yet peaked," chief nurse Cindy Phalen said. "We were afraid we were going to run out of inpatient capacity."

Medical offices are running out of the flu vaccine. More than 128 million vaccine doses have been distributed across the country, but clinics can't keep up with the demand.

"We exhausted our supply on Tuesday of this week," Somerville, Mass., Mayor Joseph Curatone said.

"We were running low and we're able to get a thousand doses," Zach Thompson with the Dallas County Health and Human Services said. "We'll evaluate how many more doses that we'll be needing to order, but right now that will (be) the gap."

Pharmacists are also struggling to fill prescriptions. Flu victim Deck Hulcy is one of many patients at one Texas pharmacy trying to get the drug Tamiflu.

"We were gonna go on a cruise with our granddads and didn't get to go," Hulcy said. "It was really bad, probably the sickest I've been in 20 years. Just couldn't get rid of it."

"Each day we're getting - right now, we're getting 24 boxes of Tamiflu capsules, but we're running out of them," pharmacist Andy Komuves said. "I mean that's not enough 'cause we're getting 40 or 50 prescriptions for them everyday."

Some Oklahoma schools cancelled classes Friday in an effort to stop the flu from spreading.

Meanwhile a nasty stomach bug called the Noro-virus is also on the move throughout the country. Doctors warn it is extremely contagious.

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Charlene  Aaron

Charlene Aaron

CBN News Reporter

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter and helps anchor for the CBN News Channel.  Follow her on Twitter @CharNews and "like" her at Facebook.com/CharleneIsraelCBNNews.