Ensuring Access to Medication during an Influenza Outbreak
In March 2017, an influenza outbreak on Vinylhaven, a remote island off the coast of Maine with a population of about 1,165, sickened half of the islands residents. The outbreak depleted the medical center’s Tamiflu supply. Tamiflu can greatly lessen the severity of flu but it must be taken early in treatment. Health Department staff—because of a partnership agreement established under PHEP with the Northern New England Poison Center, local pharmacies, and others—were able to quickly deliver 100 treatment courses of Tamiflu. As a result, the state successfully reduced the impact of the influenza outbreak on the island.