Florida pharmacist’s may be able to diagnose and treat the Flu
The flu is now at epidemic levels in the United States. It’s widespread in 49 states and 20 children have died so far this season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention even postponed its discussion on nuclear preparedness to host a lecture about this year’s flu season. Health experts believe the flu season is about to get worse here in South Florida.
As flu season heats up, a bill is now moving through Tallahassee that would give pharmacists the ability to diagnose the flu. If it becomes law, people could go to the corner drugstore instead of the doctors office. Norbert Graber is a local pharmacist who supports the bill.
If it becomes law, it would give pharmacists the ability to diagnose the flu and strep throat, as well as begin treatment. Graber and other proponents for the bill say this will free up room and appointments in doctors offices. It will also give people easier access to medicine which could be — in extreme cases — the difference between life and death. He believes it could save lives, but some doctors say they’re the only ones who should be diagnosing anything.
Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
- If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.