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Central Texas Hospitals Ready If Flu Season Gets Worse
Updated: Tuesday, January 15 2013, 03:34 PM CST
Texas is among a group of 41 states with wide spread flu cases. Every flu season is different, and even healthy people can get very sick from the disease causing hospitalization and even death.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, from 1976 to 2007 it's estimated U.S. deaths each year due to flu ranged from 3,000 to 49,000.
Central Texas hospitals say they have seen a rise in patients. So what plan do they have in place in case we see a major outbreak of the flu.
Emergency rooms and doctors' offices are packed these days as more and more people come down with the flu. The vaccines and treatments are there, but hospitals, counties and city authorities are prepared with a contingency plan for a major flu outbreak that could be looming.
Robert vezzetti / dell childrens medical center.
"Well, the good news is we've done this before," says Robert Vezzetti with Dell Children's Medical Center. "Back when the H1N1 virus first came out and caused a lot of influenza cases Dell was at the forefront of bringing out extra space to accommodate those patients."
Vezzetti says tents were constructed to house extra patients. "What it allowed for was a faster processing of patients, they get seen faster and get out of the emergency room faster to go home and get better," he says.
So how do they determine when to activate the emergency plan? "Its a day to day to day monitoring of what the volumes are like and what the patients are coming in for," says Vezzetti.
Aside from the regular symptoms such as fever, cough, congestion and muscle aches doctor's says this strain of influenza is causing vomiting and diarrhea.
By Angel Covarrubias