This flu season has proven to be a fierce one in Southern California as the number of people affected by the illness spiked.
As a result of the surge, Loma Linda University Medical Center has set up a triage with a tent for patients. The tent is equipped with necessary items to treat patients as many more than usual have flocked to the hospital.
Doctors say the strain of this year's flu, called influenza A strain H3N2, is especially severe.
The overflow tent has been set up since Jan. 3 in the parking lot near the medical center’s emergency room. More than 60 people per day have been treated at the hospital, to which the chief of medical operations at Loma Linda Health says they have never seen such a high amount.
The tent will be used when the emergency room is full and is expected to stay through March. It will not only treat patients with the flu, but will also serve other medical purposes.
Over 40 people have died in California due to the illness; each victim was under the age of 65. Three deaths were reported in San Bernardino County, six in Riverside County and seven in Orange County.
The deaths prompted the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to urge everyone to get vaccinated.
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Although health officials acknowledge that an influenza vaccination is not 100 percent effective, it does offer protection and will lessen the number of cases.