Flu continues to hit Oklahoma hard; Is Tamiflu worth it?

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Reported by: Janai Norman
Updated: 1/30 5:41 pm Published: 1/30 3:58 pm

The flu continues to worsen and take more lives in Oklahoma.

FOX23 learned the number of flu-related deaths across the state jumped to 25 this week with 115 new hospitalizations.

FOX23’s Janai Norman is taking a closer look into the cost of the catching the flu.

She discovered Tamiflu is effective for only some people infected with the flu and went to the Utica Park Clinic to find out whether forking over hundreds of dollars for this medicine is worth it.

“It's very expensive,” said Dr. Hillary Payne, who works at the clinic.

Payne admits Tamiflu costs a lot, but she's been prescribing it a lot to people testing positive for the flu.

“Surprisingly, we've seen a lot of 20 and ; 30somethings, young, healthy people. If it's within 48 hours of within their flu starting, we like to give them Tamiflu,” she said.

And it's not just those infected who get the prescription.

“People who are living with someone with the flu,” she added.

FOX23 got a receipt from a family, who got flu shots, but was still hit hard by the virus, the retail price: $150.

“Is that worth it to get it?” asked Norman.

“That’s kind of a complex question,” said Payne.

Payne explained Tamiflu stops the flu virus from replicating. So if you get the medicine within 48 hours, you can feel better faster and are less likely to have to go the hospital or have complications like a post-flu pneumonia.

But after two days, she said, “That's a decision between the patient and their doctor.”

Payne told FOX23 she has had patients not get the medicine because it costs so much.

There are other ways to protect your family besides Tamiflu, “Lysol wipe or chlorine wipe doors, light switches, anything the sick people touched that the well people in the family are also touching,” said Payne.

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