A number of Southern California hospitals have begun utilizing overflow tents outdoors emergency rooms to deal with a rising variety of sufferers with flu and other respiratory illnesses.
The San Diego-Union Tribune reported Friday that overflow tents have been put up at Scripps Memorial Hospital in Encinitas, Jacobs Medical Middle at UC San Diego Well being in La Jolla and Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa to deal with a rise in respiratory sickness.
Scripps hospitals and physician’s workplaces reported 1,695 optimistic flu exams since Sept. 1, up from 471 throughout the identical time interval one 12 months in the past.
The transfer comes amid an increase in flu signs in emergency room sufferers in San Diego County. About 9 % of those sufferers had flu signs final week, up from 7 % two weeks in the past, in line with a county report.
The San Diego-Union Tribune additionally flagged a rise in sufferers with COVID-19 signs, although not as rapidly, in line with the county’s weekly respiratory sickness report.
“The concern is that the whole lot is simply kind of bouncing off the whole lot else and when you’ve been by way of the flu you would nonetheless get hit by COVID or no matter different virus you’re going to get,” mentioned Dr. Ghazala Sharieff, Scripps Well being’s chief medical officer of acute care operations and medical excellence.
“I’m hopeful, however we’re nonetheless sort of planning that it’s going to be this fashion by way of February,” Sharieff mentioned.
Usually, the flu hits hardest from late December through February.
The Southern Hemisphere additionally handled an sooner than normal influenza season. Chile’s influenza positivity charges reached epidemic thresholds as early as January, a number of months before normal.
Well being specialists mentioned it was not instantly clear whether or not flu circumstances would attain an earlier-than-usual peak in California, which usually sees the majority of circumstances in December by way of February, or a protracted flu season.
Much of the United States is seeing a quick begin to the flu season. Earlier this month, the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention mentioned extra flu circumstances are being reported than is often anticipated right now.
On Friday, the CDC reported that the flu and related viral sicknesses are notably excessive in Georgia, New York Metropolis, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Washington, D.C.
“Early will increase in seasonal influenza exercise proceed nationwide. The southeastern and south-central areas of the nation are reporting the very best ranges of exercise adopted by the Mid-Atlantic and the south-central West Coast areas.” the CDC mentioned.
Most of these are influenza A, particularly a pressure known as H3N2. Whereas any model of the flu will be harmful in weak populations, this pressure has been recognized to trigger extra extreme sickness.
The Related Press contributed to this report.