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Letter Re: Tapping the National Medications Stockpile

Sunday, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS [1]) announced that they would open up the National Stockpile of medications to provide antivirals to areas that may need them. This comment is a big clue to the real concern that this is already getting out of control. The National Stockpile is rarely tapped so this is a big event and a potential trigger for those out there who need to be aware. Luckily this year’s human flu was resistant to Tamiflu so there appears to be stock left, but this is also the end of the season so normal supplies are low. Relenza is another antiviral that is available and the swine flu is sensitive too, (at this point). Tamiflu [dosing] is weight-based for children and Relenza is not indicated for patients less than seven years old. I would suggest that anyone with significant medical conditions obtain an antiviral prescription from their friendly doctor now, and not later. Obviously large cities, especially those with international airport hubs, and those on the border, or with large migrant populations probably aren’t the best places to be right now. What triggers a bug out is individualized, but there is a definite advantage of being in a small town. But even Kansas hasn’t been spared with this one. With schools being shut down, that forces adult parents to stay home which causes shortages of employees not only at the mall, but the grocery store, the shipper, the police station, the hospital, the gas station…etc… Plan accordingly for any last minute items you need. – Mike the MD