90,000 H1N1 inquires daily: OPA

Ontario residents are flocking to their pharmacists with questions and concerns about the H1N1 flu virus.

Ontario residents are flocking to their pharmacists with questions and concerns about the H1N1 flu virus.

The Ontario Pharmacists’ Association said yesterday the 3,000 pharmacies in the province are getting about 90,000 inquiries per day, or about 30 per pharmacy, about swine flu.

“Most of them are related to the vaccine itself, but also I think... people are a little bit unsure about what is true flu and then what is simple influenza and a cold,” said association chairman Dean Miller.

The association conducted a random survey of pharmacists around the province and found over the past several weeks there has been an influx of patients concerned about swine flu as public awareness about the virus has gone up.

“It’s just incredible some of the numbers of people coming into the pharmacies with questions and concerns for them and their families,” Miller said.

While the association doesn’t usually track the number or types of discussions pharmacists have with patients, Miller said the conversations usually change with the seasons.

While the swine flu queries are “occupying a huge amount of time” for pharmacists, Miller said they’re coping and it just means patients are having to wait a few minutes longer for access to their druggist.

But he said patients are still getting “good, sound advice” in a short period of time.

 
 
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