A lot of NJ kids are sick right now, but cold medicine is scarce
Is your child "under the weather" at the moment? They are not alone.
From flu to COVID, from stomach bugs to upper respiratory viruses, "sick season" has been raging extra-early this year. Doctors' offices across New Jersey have been packed for almost a month now.
Especially concerning is an uptick in cases of respiratory syncytial virus — RSV — among the very young and very old.
We have had a variety of viruses floating around the Zarrow household in the last week and a half. First, our middle kid was down and out with rhinovirus and adenovirus for an entire week. Then our youngest developed a bad cough. Then our oldest was in bed with the flu for three days straight. (Supposedly, ten of the 24 students in his 2nd grade class were absent earlier this week.)
Of course, all that drama is nothing compared to our little 6 month old niece, who was hospitalized for a week with RSV just before Thanksgiving. (I'm happy to say she's doing great now.)
Making the situation far worse is a severe shortage of children's cold medicine across the state. It's bad — many pharmacies and grocery stores are out of everything. Tylenol, Motrin, Advil, Mucinex, and more. Name-brand or store-brand. Even Amazon's supply of over-the-counter medicine is scarce.
Ugh, the bare shelves — it's an uncomfortable reminder of the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic. It's almost like no one learned any lessons from those supply crunches. Especially given the advance notice from experts about the impending surge in illnesses.
Hopefully those meds are restocked soon. (I have heard that the supply is much better in Pennsylvania, by the way.)
And hopefully this early brunt of cold and flu season means fewer kids (and adults) will get sick this winter.
Dan Zarrow is Chief Meteorologist for Townsquare Media New Jersey. Follow Dan on Facebook or Twitter for your latest weather forecast updates.