WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — The Whatcom County Health Department issued a statement today, Tuesday, November 22nd, reporting concern over hospital capacity and availability of some prescription and over-the-counter drugs needed to treat respiratory illnesses in children.
Whatcom residents are being seen in emergency rooms for respiratory illnesses at the highest rate we have ever seen, and our kids are being hospitalized at a rate that is four times higher than we have seen in at least the last five years. Hospitals across Washington are at or beyond pediatric bed capacity right now, and we’re asking you to please do everything you can to prevent and reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses so we can reduce the strain on our hospitals and healthcare providers and keep our children healthy. Whatcom County Health Department (November 22, 2022)
They added that they are also hearing about shortages of several prescription and over-the-counter drugs for children. The statement provided the following details.
- There is a nationwide shortage of liquid amoxicillin (antibiotic). Most providers are aware and are prescribing alternative options.
- Whatcom County pharmacies are having trouble keeping up with demand for children’s pain and fever medications such as Tylenol and ibuprofen. As pharmacies are working to replace supplies, they may ask customers to limit the number that they purchase.
- Please know that not all fevers in children need to be treated with medications. A mild fever is part of the normal response to an infection, and we treat these mostly for comfort, not because treating fevers helps children get better faster.