It’s for the safety of the hospital staff…
Via NBC News:
It’s the most miserable time of the year for many people in the area. Flu season is in full effect and this one in particular is shaping up to be more extreme than usual.
The State Department of Health reports that four Pennsylvanians have already died of complications from the influenza virus.
In response to the early start of flu season, the Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest had to open an emergency space to care for the increased number of people with flu-like symptoms…after four people died of complications from the virus.
The tent is 1,100 square feet and is equipped to treat six patients at a time with three medical staff. Access to a doctor is available inside the emergency room.
The tent is only for those with mild flu symptoms while those who have severe cases, need intravenous drips, or have underlying health conditions are taken into the hospital.
The flu triage tent began operating at 11am on Tuesday and closes at 11pm each night.
The hospital tells NBC10′s Katy Zachry why the tent was erected.
“If we can remove them from the main ED and put them in an environment where everyone is masked and everyone can be protected, it’s safer for them and certainly safer for the staff,” said Terry Burger, hospital director of infection control.
Officials believe this year will be a particularly bad outbreak of the flu virus – known as H3N2 – and treating patients in isolation is the best way of keeping cases at bay.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that 200,000 people across the country have been hospitalized with this year’s strain so far.
Dozens of states including Pennsylvania and New Jersey have reported high outbreaks. Across the U.S., 19 children have so far died from the flu.
The elderly, the very young and those with previous health conditions are most at risk.
The CDC recommends that individuals get a flu shot which prevents against getting the virus in 90 per cent of cases.
Do you get a flu shot every year?
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