Flu and R.S.V. Hit the Holidays, Heightening Demand for Antibiotics and Antivirals

November 29, 2022 at 6:52 am, EST

An intense early flu season, coupled with a pediatric rise in respiratory illnesses, has left families frantically searching for medicines that are in short supply.

Amoxicillin, an antibiotic commonly prescribed for children with ear infections, bronchitis and strep throat, is in short supply across the country, alarming pediatricians and parents as a surge in respiratory illnesses strains hospitals, many of which are still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.

Tamiflu, an antiviral medication used to treat influenza, is also hard to find in parts of the country, stoking concern among health care providers just as flu season is getting underway.

Andrew Jacobs is a health and science reporter, based in New York. He previously reported from Beijing and Brazil and had stints as a metro reporter, Styles writer and national correspondent, covering the American South. @AndrewJacobsNYT

A version of this article appears in print on Nov. 26, 2022, Section A, Page 19 of the New York edition with the headline: Early Surge in Illnesses Has Many Scrambling To Obtain Medicine. 

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