Here in the North State, the flu season has officially hit. At Feather River Hospital in Paradise, staff has seen a big increase in flu cases.
“We had 17 positive influenza cases for the previous month and this last month we had 37,” said Melissa Barnard, emergency director for Feather River Hospital.
This higher-than-normal caseload has made for many challenges not just for patients but also for staff.
“There will be days when we are so packed people will have to wait for hours to see a provider because there are so many patients that come in at the same time,” Barnard said.
In an attempt to keep up with the cases--and keep people out of the hospital--doctors recommend preventative measures we’ve all heard before like drink lots of fluids, get enough rest and eat good food. But they also say to seek medical help at the first sign of sickness.
“Most people they say, ‘Oh, I’m coming down with a cold’ and a few days into it they realize they have the flu,” Barnard said. “By that time, it may be too late.”
Despite the increase in flu cases, door-to-doctor time for most patients is usually only about 30 minutes.