Keeping up with demand for flu vaccine and test

STRATFORD, Conn. (WTNH)–It’s down to this meager supply of the flu vaccine at Stratford Medicine with St. Vincent’s Medical Center.

Fortunately, the demand has not been as high as in previous weeks.

“The last few weeks has been what I would call an avalanche of people calling in or coming in with what they suspect might be flu like symptoms,” says internist Dr. Charles Bruce-Tagoe.

Related: Officials report 52 flu-related deaths in Connecticut

More flu shots are on the way he says, which has already been re-stocked twice since the initial order back in the fall, “We have about 80 percent coverage in vaccination. There are some who are adamant about not getting the vaccines so for them we tell them the slightest sign of illness, come and see us.”

The flu tests, also re-ordered, with just a handful left for patients.

So they’re being judicious about it, if someone wants to be swabbed for the test.

Dr. Bruce-Tagoe says, “We’ll take in their history, examine them appropriately and reassure them they didn’t have the flu and therefore they didn’t need to have the test, so we don’t waste the testing.”

The flu was tough on Shannon Sopp’s family.

Related: Health officials calling for action to fix shortage of IV saline

Two of her loved ones came down with it — she and her daughter managed to avoid it.

Shannon says, “We were able to not come across the flu and have been using Lysol and bleach cleanup like crazy. How bad was it? it was pretty bad, pretty bad. The coughing and the sleepless nights and high fever, it was bad.”

In the meantime, it’s not too late to get the vaccine and keep washing those hands.

“This week has not been as bad as the couple weeks prior,” says Dr. Bruce-Tagoe, “it has gone down a bit but we’re still seeing a few with a lot of questions because we are not out of the woods yet.”

Related: Dogs can get the flu, too

St. Vincent’s Medical Center, among health care centers, asking people to be vigilant when it comes to hospital visits.

The recommendations include, not visiting a patient, if you are sick or have been in contact with someone with respiratory symptoms.

Think about calling the patient instead.

And if you have to visit, follow the guidelines posted.

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