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Flu outbreak places strain on emergency rooms

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Mike Desmond/wbfo news
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The recent surge in flu cases is showing up in area hospital emergency rooms.Hospitals are rushing to get more beds ready for use as flu pushes people into illness and more of them decide they need to see a doctor in the hospital.

For Dr. David Pierce, vice president and chief medical officer of Kaleida Health's Millard Fillmore Suburban and DeGraff Memorial Hospital, that isn't necessarily true. He said personal physicians can treat most patients.

Pierce says the hospitals are using overtime and extra staff to handle the load.

"(Millard Fillmore )Suburban which I've been at over 36 hours probably in the last three days trying to open up specific areas of the hospital to care for patients in general because we have had a huge surge," Pierce said.

"There is no cohort or grouped area within the hospital where we're caring for influenza patients. But we have tried to open dedicated areas of the hospital to care for all of our patients."

Pierce says this surge in flu this year seems a little worse than other years although this is a peak time for influenza. He says this year's vaccine may not block all of the flu viruses which are circulating.

 

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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