So far, the flu has killed 11 people in Dallas County during the season. That is a rise compared to previous years, to such an extent that this season is readily on track to be the deadliest in years nationally for the whole of Texas and it is causing hospitals to take emergency measures.
The Methodist Dallas Medical Center was the first to tackle the problem head-on. The hospital said: "This measure is so we can still take care of emergency patients such as trauma, stroke and those transferred by ambulance,"
"We take this very seriously because we want to be able to treat anyone in need anytime."
The hospital stated that the move was "consistent with federal and state laws."
"During the period while Methodist Dallas is re-routing patients, we encourage anyone having non-emergent symptoms to seek care at an urgent care facility or through their primary care physician,"
Walgreens, which analyzed prescription data for antiviral flu medications, stated that other hospitals are likely to also only admit emergency patients if current trends continue.
<iframe width="854" height="480" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2uZw7CD7_NA" frameborder="0" gesture="media" allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Ms. Annie Robertson, Emergency Nurse Practitioner at AFC Urgent Care admitted that the flu season seemed to be getting worse: “I’m seeing more than I’ve seen in a long time, and I’ve been doing these many years.”
According to Ms. Robertson, some 75 percent of patients have complained of flu symptoms lately. Her hospital is going through dozens of flu tests a day.
“’Fever, body aches, 'I hurt. I hurt in my chest and my back and my legs. I can deal with everything else except the pain,’ is primarily the biggest reason people are seeking help,” she says.