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Demand for respiratory virus medicines increases

 An overwhelming demand for fever-reducing medicines has left some store shelves empty this season.

We are tracking the spike in the ‘Triple-demic’ here in the Coachella Valley. We reported on Tuesday that COVID-19 hospitalizations across Riverside County surpassed 200 patients for the first time since the start of August.

News Channel 3 reached out to Rite Aid, CVS, and Walgreens to see when we should expect a shipment of cold medicines as an increasing number of people are battling the flu, RSV, or COVID.

CVS Statement:

We’re currently seeing increased demand for cold, flu and pain relief products. We’re committed to meeting our customers’ needs and are working with our suppliers to ensure continued access to these items. In the event a local store experiences a temporary product shortage, our teams have a process in place to replenish supply. 

Rite Aid Statement:

We are experiencing high demand of over the counter cold/flu medication due to high illness incidence. We are working closely with suppliers to meet the demand and mitigate shortages where possible. If customers don’t see their preferred cold/flu treatment products on the shelf, they should speak with the pharmacist for recommendations on other OTC options that best suit their needs.

"I stocked up. I ordered some medicine online," said Mariel Delatorre, a mother of a 3-year-old child who recently had RSV. "And well, we ended up in the hospital anyways. But luckily after that, he was okay. And everybody was okay. But I did stock up. I had to get it from online."

Some people in the valley said that they routinely by cold and pain medicine for the house right before the Holiday season.

"I've bought, as far as cold medicine goes, it's for my kids, because they've been more sick than I have," said Judith Mercado, a Cathedral City resident. "I usually will go into a pharmacy to just buy routine like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, just to have at home."

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Miyoshi Price

Miyoshi joined KESQ News Channel 3 in April 2022. Learn more about Miyoshi here.


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