Texans find bare shelves in the cold medicine aisle amid omicron surge

The aisles for over-the-counter cough and cold medicines are nearly bare across Dallas Walmart, Target, CVS and Sam's Club locations, The Dallas Morning News reported Jan. 10. 

Five notes: 

1. Reporters with the publication spot-checked eight of the retail locations on Jan. 10, finding low stocked or bare shelves in the medicine aisle for products such as cough drops, Mucinex and NyQuil. 

2. An employee at a Dallas SuperTarget told the Dallas Morning News the location does receive cold remedy shipments, though inventory quickly disappears off shelves. 

3. The surge in COVID-19 cases coupled with more people contracting common colds or the flu this year is likely behind the high demand for over-the-counter remedies. 

"With three-quarters of a million people testing positive for omicron a day, many more people are buying cough and cold remedies and riding it out," Ed Fox, marketing professor at Southern Methodist University's Edwin L. Cox School of Business in Dallas, told the news outlet. 

4. Low stock of over-the-counter medications have also been reported in North Carolina The Charlotte Observer reports. 

"We have seen significant demand for cough, cold and flu medicines," a Walmart spokesperson told the Observer. "We've been able to keep fairly good inventory levels but are working closely with our supplier to meet this demand and get the needed product to our customers." 

5. The daily average for new COVID-19 cases was 761,112 on Jan. 11, a 185 percent increase from the two weeks prior, data from The New York Times shows. 


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