San Diego hospital opens surge tent after area flu cases quadruple

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Sharp Grossmont Hospital in San Diego County set up a surge tent outside its emergency room entrance to triage patients with flu symptoms, according to a KNSD report.

The goal is "to manage/screen an influx of walk-in flu patients today," the hospital said in a statement to KNSD Thursday.

San Diego County's Department of Health and Human Services reported 2,227 new flu cases last week compared to a total of 563 lab-confirmed flu cases the week before, nearly four-times the amount of cases.

San Diego County reported approximately 3,900 flu cases this season compared to 599 cases this time last year. Last week, the death toll from the flu outbreak in the county reached 11. The county saw only four flu-related deaths this time last year.

"The number of flu cases that were reported last week is the highest in a single week that we have seen in recent years," said Sayone Thihalolipavan, MD, San Diego County's deputy public health officer.

San Diego physicians are encouraging all residents to get a flu vaccination as a precaution.

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