Hoosier health systems facing flu testing kit shortage

HANCOCK COUNTY, Ind. – Local health systems across central Indiana are facing flu test kit shortages. Health systems nationwide are also seeing impacts from a shortage of kits.

Doctors’ offices, hospitals and urgent care centers at Hancock Regional Health are all out of flu test kits. Community Health also reports shortages in the testing screens.

An increase in potential flu cases as well as changes made by the FDA to the kits are reasons for the shortage in supplies.

"We’ve reached out to our suppliers and other suppliers and they can’t really give us a time when they’ll have them. It’s a manufacturer back order," said Chris Burns, Director of Advanced Clinical Process with Hancock Physician Network.

Even with a shortage of flu test kits, Burns said they can still diagnose and treat patients for the flu.

"We treat flu based on systems so regardless of having a positive flu test or not. We can just treat the patient based on their symptoms," Burns said. "Even in the past, there have been times where someone will test negative on a flu screen, but we look at the patient and we look at the symptoms."

There's no shortage in supply for flu shots. Doctors recommend you still get one. Burns said this flu season may last longer than normal and could go into April or May.

You can get diagnosed with the flu without even having to go into the doctor’s office. Click here to access the virtual health system.