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With the flu spreading quickly, people seek IV therapy for hydration

Posted at 4:33 AM, Jan 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-16 06:58:31-05

TAMPA, Fla. — The flu is running rampant nationwide and locally, it's spreading quicker than normal. It has many folks seeking help and Toni Mastroianni is hooked on IV therapy. 

"This is my first time getting the flu in a long time," she said. She suffered from all the symptoms of the nasty virus like headaches, fever, upset stomach and dehydration.

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"When you are rundown you are less likely to drink fluids," said Stephen Gunnin, the owner of Replenish IV Solutions. He says an IV bag with a vitamin/electrolyte mix can boost the recovery process and he says right now many of his clients are desperate for some relief. 

It’s supposed to be a 30-minute process and I guess both of us took a bag in like 15 minutes. So he was like you’re definitely very dehydrated," said Karen Williams, who has had the flu for the last 5 days. 

"It’s not a silver bullet - if you get the flu, you’re going to get the flu. But it will help you feel better and hopefully raise your immune system up," said Gunnin. "If you get your immune system up, you can fight it off a little quicker."

Gunnin is also hurting from the IV bag shortage - hospitals and facilities across the country are struggling to keep enough in stock. 

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"The thought of having shortages is not good. It’s like selling cars with no cars on the lot," he said. Right now, Gunnin says they're ordering through 2nd and 3rd party vendors and are on at least two waiting lists, but says they're doing everything they can to continue serving their clients and have plenty of bags at the moment.

One IV bag will run you about $125 to $175 dollars depending on the mix you get and the effects can last a few days to a week depending on your body. He says this isn't a replacement for a trip to the doctor or hospital if you really need medical attention.