Doctors say stay at home with flu; ER's overcrowded

Some emergency rooms are overflowing because of the flu.

This might come as a surprise but doctors say most people with the flu don't need to visit the ER to see a doctor.

Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno has seen more people showing up with the flu in the past week. Chief of Emergency Medicine UCSF- Fresno, Dr. Jim Comes said this week it's confirmed 45 cases.

"They are coming to the hospital and they are thinking about antiviral therapy. To me, it seems like hundreds for sure. I think St. Agnes is also seeing a lot of patients with influenza," said Comes.

The surge of people with flu-like symptoms at the ER is now spending hours there. Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Visalia put up a tent to help with overflow. It said then it was partly because of a Tulare hospital closing and now the flu. Sierra Medical Center in Porterville says it has confirmed 79 cases of influenza and admitted eight people.

Doctors say instead of filling up ER's you can look after yourself at home.

"People with the flu should stay home. Most people with the flu who are otherwise healthy get better with rest, fluids and not coming to work,” said Comes.

Doctors say those who should go to the ER if they're feeling flu-like symptoms are babies and the elderly.

"If they are having symptoms of shortness of breath. More pain with breathing or confusion or they can’t walk. Those are some symptoms that would warrant," said Comes.

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