Hospital sets up triage tent for flu cases

ESCONDIDO, Calif. – Palomar Medical Center has set up a temporary tent to help manage the high volume of influenza patients coming in for treatment.

Nursed as screening all patients coming into the emergency department and sending anyone with flu-like symptoms to a so-called surge tent set up outside the hospital. Doctors in the tent will triage patients, admitting them to the hospital if their condition warrants it or treating them and sending them home if their symptoms are less severe.

The hospital has received about 40 percent more patients in recent weeks.

Countywide, there have been 3,334 cases of influenza in the past week alone, but health officials have not called the outbreak an emergency yet. This flu season has killed 45 people so far including a 12-month-old baby.

Health officials say the most vulnerable are people 65 and up and infants.

The most dangerous strain of the flu is passed through coughing. People who have symptoms should stay at least 6 feet away from family members.