Inside one of the busiest ER's in the US during flu season

The chairman of emergency medicine at St Joseph's Regional Medical Center in New Jersey tells what to expect if you get the flu.
4:32 | 02/05/18

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Transcript for Inside one of the busiest ER's in the US during flu season
I'm Linda Davis we are at saint -- since in Patterson New Jersey we are live on And arsenal on FaceBook we are at the fourth busiest emergency room. In the country we're joined now. Live by doctor Rosenberg thank you so much for talking with oh thank you for so it doesn't idea of how this flu season may differ from those in the past. He did this year I think the big differences the flu vaccine has not been. As efficacious as good as effective as it happened in previous years so we've seen more people come in who have had the flu vaccine now are. At the flow. Now it's early in the morning here so it seems like there's a bit of a lull but can we anticipate I assume we canvassing gurneys lining the hallways here. You're expecting more patient. Oh yes we'll have right now we have got fifty patients in the emergency department at this one moment. Later today by 4 PM while the 150 patients here each one of these earnings will be filled with a patient waiting for care through Lewis already had. What do you attribute the overwhelming. And it seems that many doctors' offices and hospitals and overloaded with flu patients. This particular season why would attribute that. This year so many people who have the flu are trying to see their primary care physician. But there's primary care offices are completely filled and overwhelmed so when a patient calls up and says and I have an appointment they say go to the emergency department. A large number of patients that we see are actually trying to see the primary care doctors. But instead they come to the emergency department is we have unlimited access capability for anybody who has the flu were mailed. Yet we keep hearing that this is a severe season isn't just in the sheer number of people we're getting do you feel that the actual strain appears to be more severe. Well this strain seems people are more virulent and it seems to come one more quickly than we've seen in prior years. And those who are very young. And those who are very old. Seemed to get sicker from that particularly those who. Co morbidity and other serious chronic illnesses and no danger of running out of any of the tests here Warren Tamiflu we use swaps and we have not had any problem having enough swabs. Two to the testing. And we we don't giving out a lot of time on the flow. Because you will. Vehicle you don't need Tamiflu to get better from the flu it's only those who are seriously ill with a chronic condition those who were cranked it. Those who are very young may benefit from them. In some cases it let's walk for a moment if we can't that we see him rooms here you have some patients and some of these rooms when you're doubling up is that right yes so. In pediatrics in particular we had put two beds in each room just to be able to implement sheer volume of pediatrics and coming in. We have a 20% increase in. Pediatric patient and geriatric patients coming in because there. And so then do you have to overstaffed. Always bring in the staff that's necessary to man patients that are coming in. As I said later today we'll have a 150 patients in the emergency department under going treatment. At that particular time and while the staff that's necessary to man this. We're hearing from the CDC that it's possible it a flu season though rare could last until May what do you think few more weeks still that's slowly. East at least and you know we typically see when the war when the spring weather comes and we have a couple more weeks of flu that will remain until real anticipates. I always liked say. That the flu starts at. Thanksgiving and then city Easter this year may list a couple more weeks. What is your advice both to two different populations one the bills that hasn't gotten sick is worried in trying to stay. Healthy and the others to people who think they may have the flu but they're worried about you know going to the doctor's office. The most important things get the flu vaccine. Even if it's not as effective and as yours prior. What we do know is if you take the flu vaccine you're symptoms and the flu duration will be laughs so that's the most important thing. Make sure your washing your hands frequently you can use pure hour some of the other alcohol based. Cleansing agents keep a bottle in your pocketbook or purse. City wash your hands frequently. And stay away from people who have the flu and if you are sick stay in city are not contaminating other. It will thank you so much for your time doctor Rosenberg we appreciate it that is all from here you can get the latest on our who covered on

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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