NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Drastic measures are being taken by hospitals to keep the flu from spreading.
As CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported, in some places healthy visitors are even being told to get out.
“It is a cesspool of flu,” Pensacola, Florida nurse Katherine Lockler said in a YouTube video. “There is a cesspool of funky flu at the ER right now.”
Lockler spelled it all out as she took to YouTube to voice her concerns.
“Please don’t bring your team in. Please don’t bring your healthy children — especially your newborn babies — in to the emergency room,” she said.
The concerns about the flu continued to grow Friday as the number of deaths rose. A total of 39 children account for flu-related deaths this season.
Hospitals in New Jersey are taking note. Hackensack Meridian Health Hospitals are reportedly not allowing visitors under the age of 12.
In Georgia, hospitals are taking things even further – setting up special tent-like quarantine areas for new flu patients. It is a tactic typically reserved for disasters like hurricanes.
Back in New York, hospitals like Mount Sinai said they are not restricting visitors yet. But they have seen an average of 20 extra flu cases into their emergency rooms each day.
This all comes as new number show the vaccine is not quite as effective as hoped. A Canadians study shows only a 17 percent effectiveness rate.
Numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are expected in the next few weeks.
“Bottom line is we need a better vaccine. We need a universal vaccine,” said CBS medical contributor Dr. Tara Narula.
Regardless of how ineffective it is, experts said some protection from the vaccine is better than nothing.
“There’s benefit because it can decrease the severity of the symptoms, it can decrease your risk of complications, and it can also protect you against the other strains — influenza b and H1N1,” Narula said.
Mount Sinai said for very sick patients, there is a special flu test that can be administered with a nasal swab. It can give doctors results within an hour.