Antibiotics shortage spreading across U.S. as RSV and flu cases rise

Drugs that are used to treat common childhood illnesses such as the flu, sore throat or ear infections have been impacted

Published: November 24, 2022 8:04am

Updated: November 24, 2022 8:46am

A shortage of antibiotics used to treat common childhood illnesses is spreading across the United States during flu season. 

Drugs that are used to treat the flu, a sore throat and a sinus infection have been impacted, including Tamiflu, amoxicillin and Augmentin.

Experts attribute the current shortage to increased demand as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and flu cases surge.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that there “high” or “very high” respiratory virus activity in more than half of U.S. states.

Medical professionals are referring to the flu, RSV and COVID-19 as a "tripledemic."

“What we are seeing is record levels of RSV in young children . Usually, we see a spike in December or January, but it’s earlier this year,” said Scott Roberts, a Yale Medicine infectious diseases specialist. “COVID is still the most prevalent virus in the community, but it’s on a downward trajectory, while RSV and flu are increasing.”

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