Triangle doctors busy fighting a bug going around

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There's been an influx of people coming into doctor's offices complaining of body aches, congestion, and a persistent cough

Doctors' offices throughout the Triangle have been busy over the last few weeks. There's been an influx of people coming into doctor's offices complaining of body aches, congestion, and a persistent cough. Medical professionals say there's a virus going around just as we're going into the beginning of flu season.

Health officials say most are cases are the common cold, but the symptoms aren't far off from influenza

"The symptoms can be almost indistinguishable," said WakeMed Physician Dr. Tiffany Lowe-Payne. "The biggest difference you would see between the flu and someone who has a common cold or allergies is a high fever or a cough that tends to be more severe."

As some people are fighting off the bug, others are trying to stay guarded from the flu.

The WakeMed Healthcare System has already seen 21 influenza cases since the beginning of last month.

A number of clinics and pharmacies are offering vaccines. Folks who like the nasal spray are finding themselves in a bind this year.

The FluMist is on backorder right now. Even Wake County can't get a supply in stock at its Health Clinic on Sunnybrook Road in Raleigh.

Some private practices and pharmacies have a wait list for people who want the mist. Health officials say by the time the supply comes in, it may be too late in the season for the spray to do any good.

"I would not wait," said Dr. Lowe-Payne. "Now is the time to take prevention. Now is the time to get your flu vaccine while it's still early in the season."

AstraZeneca makes the nasal spray. It says this influenza season it has encountered some challenges with production of two of the four strains contained in this year's vaccine which has impacted delivery timing.

" We have shipped 5 million as of mid-October in the US and will be shipping another 4-5 million by the end of November and will have additional doses available to meet late season demand throughout the remainder of the season," said AstraZeneca spokesperson Melissa Garcia.

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