Pharmacies get ready for swine flu

By: Shalah Sasse Email
By: Shalah Sasse Email

News 12 This Morning, May 1, 2009

AUGUSTA, Ga. --- The swine flu is catching attention everywhere. But in downtown Augusta, the Maxwell House Pharmacy is staying calm about it.

"Use your common sense. Don't be alarmed, unless you have to be alarmed," Becky Holbrook said.

Manager Becky Holbrook says they're stocked up on Tamiflu, but she hasn't seen any signs of the swine flu affecting Augusta. In fact, they haven't even sold any of these suddenly popular masks yet.

Over at Barney's Pharmacy on Peach Orchard Road, they've had customers asking how they can protect themselves from swine flu.

Barney's Pharmacy says their phone calls have doubled since Monday. They say callers are asking if they still have masks in stock.

This week, several people have bought masks and hand sanitizer. And although they haven't gotten any prescriptions for Tamiflu, they're ready for it.

"We are concerned. We are making sure we keep enough masks in stock, keeping enough hand sanitizer, and we do have stocks of the Tamiflu that has been known to help treat it," Jason Vanlandingham said.

The CDC recommends the N95 mask which has a 95% filter efficiency level.

"The N95 mask has a tighter seal, which keeps contaminants in," Vanlandingham said.

Or contaminants out. It's a way to protect yourself and others when you're out in public.

"I think people should still be on alert, but lets wait until it really becomes an epidemic or a pandemic before we go crazy about it," Holbrook said.

The N95 masks cost about $7.00, and that's for a box of five.

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