Flu Outbreak Swamps Doctor's Offices & Pharmacies - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Flu Outbreak Swamps Doctor's Offices & Pharmacies

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by Heather Graf

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - An early start to flu season has already forced the closure of several mid-state school systems.  Now it's getting so bad, some local pharmacies are literally running out of medicine.

At Mills Family Pharmacy in Murfreesboro, pharmacists started seeing a spike in cases starting about two weeks ago.

"They usually have aches and pains throughout their body, headache, fever, chills," said Pharmacist Chad Mills.  "And usually, they say it hits you like a ton of bricks, just all of a sudden."

In fact, so many congested, coughing patients have come through their doors, the pharmacy is struggling to keep its shelves stocked with medicines.

Tamiflu is going fast, along with any and all pseudoephedrines.

The same is true for doctor's offices across our area.  At The Barfield Clinic in Murfreesboro, doctors saw 60 to 70 patients every day this week.

"Very, very busy," said Nurse Practitioner Leanne Venable.  "I definitely do feel like we're seeing it early.  Usually, true flu season peaks around February."

The staff at The Barfield Clinic has come down with a few cases of their own.  They say it's hard to stay healthy when your job involves interacting with sick people, day in and day out.

"I definitely think we're seeing more numbers than we did in previous years," said Venable.

Health officials in Tennessee say this is the earliest start to the flu season in nearly a decade.

They also say it's not too late to get your flu shot, but remember, it takes two weeks for that shot to kick in.

On Wednesday, Fayetteville City Schools in Lincoln County announced they will be closed on Thursday and Friday.

The same is true for Humphreys County Schools, because so many students and staff are sick.

email: hgraf@newschannel5.com

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