It’s the most miserable time of the year for many people in the area. Flu season is in full effect and this one in particular is shaping up to be more extreme than usual.
The State Department of Health reports that four Pennsylvanians have already died of complications from the influenza virus.
In response to the early start of flu season, the Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest had to open an emergency space to care for the increased number of people with flu-like symptoms.( Mon Jan 07 20:47:17 PST 2013 $__output )
The hospital tells NBC10's Katy Zachry why the tent was erected.
"If we can remove them from the main ED and put them in environment where everyone is masked and everyone can be protected, it's safer for them and certainly safer for the staff," said Terry Burger, hospital director of infection control.
The mobile surge tent is set up outside the emergency department.
Officials say a similar measure was taken during the H1N1 flu a few years ago.
For information on the flu, including treatment and prevention, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.