Flu-stricken Texas teacher's death puts focus on antivirals - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Flu-stricken Texas teacher's death puts focus on antivirals

By JAMIE STENGLE
Associated Press

DALLAS (AP) - A Texas elementary school teacher who died almost a week after getting sick from the flu became a talking point online after her husband said she didn't immediately fill her prescription for an antiviral drug after deeming the $116 insurance co-pay too high.

While her husband told the Wall Street Journal that he picked up the prescription the day after she refused it and she then started taking the medication, 38-year-old Heather Holland died three days later on Feb. 4.

Doctors tell The Associated Press that while it's ideal to start taking antiviral medication as quickly as possible, it's no guarantee that one's condition will not drastically worsen.

Dr. William Schaffner, infectious diseases specialist at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, says antivirals make it "not zero, but less likely" that complications will develop.

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