|Flu Season Causing Overcrowding in Maryland Hospital Emergency Rooms|
|By Coordinator/Public Information Officer William Smith|
|January 26, 2018|
Maryland hospitals emergency departments are experiencing a major increase in the number of patients, the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS) announced today. Representatives from Emergency Medical Services (EMS) programs, hospital Emergency Departments, and local health departments are monitoring patient volumes at area hospital emergency departments. A hospital Emergency Department that has a temporary overload of patients can request ambulances to transport non-critical patients to another hospital, if possible. Hospital activity normally increases in the winter − the peak season for flu and respiratory illness. The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) has reported widespread cases of influenza/flu illness across Maryland.
Health care officials request individuals get the flu vaccine to reduce influenza. Even though this year's vaccine is not a complete match to the circulating flu viruses, vaccination and staying home when sick are still the best options to reduce the risk of catching or spreading the flu. The flu vaccine can also reduce the severity of symptoms if you do get sick.
If you believe you are ill with influenza: