News 12 @ 11 o'clock -- April 29, 2009
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.---It's been less than a week since federal health officials announced the swine flu virus spread from Mexico into the United States. But the virus has some people overreacting.
"I've been hearing rumors of people eating bacon saying am i going to catch swine flu from eating bacon? No. You won't catch it from eating bacon or any other pork products,"said Dr. Jeffrey Broder.
Dr. Jeffrey Broder says the biggest threat of the virus is if you've been to Mexico or come in contact with someone who's infected. He's had a lot of people calling in with symptoms of the common cold or allergies, thinking it's swine flu. The symptoms of the virus can include fever, muscle aches, sore throat, runny nose, nausea and vomiting. Symptoms now leading lots of patients to the doctor.
"We even had someone come into the office today because their son was in school, he had a cough and the school sent him home because they wanted him to be checked for swine flu,"said Dr. Broder.
But doctor's aren't the only one's seeing it.
"Well we've had several requests by doctors asking if we had Tamiflu, the drug of choice for the flu and we've had people coming in to buy masks," said Steve McElmurray, owner of Parks Pharmacy.
Steve McElmurray of Parks Pharmacy says Tamiflu and even the masks are flying off the shelves.
"The mask situation, we're supposed to be able to get some but not over amounts of what you've ordered in the past. So we don't know whether or not we'll get what we ordered,"said McElmurray.
And if you're thinking about heading the the doctor or pharmacist, Doctor Broder says hear this first.
"We also need to look at the symptoms, what's actually going on. Rather than just jump on every little cough or every little sneeze. We need to be cautious, not alarmed, but concerned about what's going on,"said Dr. Broder.
The Richmond County Health Department says they've not had to order more Tamiflu, but are prepared to help patients if cases of swine flu were to be confirmed locally. South Carolina DHEC says they now have 17 probable, not confirmed cases of the virus. What that means is preliminary tests show there is a likely case of the virus. They are all linked to the students from Newberry Academy.