(AXcess News) Dallas – In an MDLinx (www.mdlinx.com) survey conducted of more than 2400 U.S. physicians this past week, 72.6 percent of respondents reported experiencing a higher volume of flu symptoms in their patients than normal for this time of the season, with 22.6 percent reporting more patients at this point in the season than at any point in their medical careers.
Pediatricians are reporting higher flu symptoms as well with 70% claiming higher patient visits. Worse, 43% of pediatricians reported experiencing shortages of vaccine in their practice and 46.2 percent said they had reports from their patients of an inability to fill prescriptions for the popular antiviral medicines.
“Doctors in each region of the U.S. reported above average numbers of patients and severity of symptoms for this point in the season, ” said Aki Tomaru, president of M3 USA, which owns MDLinx. “Shortages of antivirals were most severe in the Northeast, with 45 percent of doctors reporting patients complaining of an inability to fulfill antiviral prescriptions.”
Emergency physicians also reported high volumes, with 80.5% reporting more patients than usual for this time on the season, and 30.5% reporting the highest in their experience. “Very aggressive onset and early arrival, ” said one. “This year, it spreads faster and hits harder than usual, ” said another emergency doctor.