Flu Season Keeping Brandon Pharmacy Busy

Influx Of People Wanting Flu Vaccine

The flu outbreak has been linked to three deaths in South Dakota so far this season and pharmacists say it’s only going to get worse in the coming weeks. The spread of the virus is keeping South Dakota pharmacies busy with crowds of people wanting the flu vaccination and other medications to treat the illness.

Flu season is in full effect in South Dakota.

“There’s been a lot of sickness,” said Tom Wullstein, Brandon Health Mart Chief Pharmacist.

According to the South Dakota Department of Health, there have been more than 120 hospitalizations due to the flu this season. And Brandon Health Mart Chief Pharmacist Tom Wullstein says this is the worst outbreak he’s seen in 10 years.

“It is definitely hitting a lot of people hard right now,” said Wullstein.

While it may not be peak season for the flu, pharmacies in the area such as The Brandon Health Mart are seeing an influx of people coming in and asking for the flu vaccination and Tamiflu.

“People are starting to think about getting flu vaccines now so we’re getting a second rush of flu vaccinations for people who haven’t gotten it yet,” said Wullstein. “And they decided, ‘Well maybe it’s time to get it now.’ But it’s definitely a little bit busier than it would normally be this time of year.”

Wullstein says the rapid spread of the disease has led to a shortage of supplies at his pharmacy.

“Right now, I just ran out of my flu mist,” said Wullstein.

And he says that can be a scary thing, especially when flu season won’t peak for another month.

“I’m anticipating there’s going to be a lot more people getting the flu shot and people will continue getting the Tamiflu prescription if they’ve been exposed,” said Wullstein.

Wullstein says unfortunately the number of flu cases will continue to climb if people don’t take precautions.

“The flu is not something to take lightly,” said Wullstein. “Most people think it’s just a little illness and you stay home for a couple of days. But as we’ve seen this year, it takes a year like this to remind people of how bad it can be with hospitalizations and deaths.”

Brandon Health Mart Chief Pharmacist Tom Wullstein says Tamiflu is most effective when taken within 48 hours of being exposed to the flu. After that time period, Tylenol can work wonders.