Dr. Michael Kerr of Medstar Montgomery Medical Center in Olney, Md.,says hospital has called in extra staff to deal with heavy flu outbreak

11:15 PM, Jan 7, 2013   |    comments
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ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA) ---Area emergency room have seen a big jump in business for several weeks, and thanks to the flu, are now crowded and experiencing longer waiting times.

"It is a really bad flu season. It's all throughout the area and in the emergency departments in every single hospital, volumes are up 20, 30, even 50 percent on any given day," said Dr. Michael Kerr, Chief of Staff and Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Medstar Montgomery Medical Center in Olney, where the hospital has called in extra physicians and nurses to deal with the crunch.

Area emergency rooms are, simply, busy. "They might have to wait longer than normal, especially for those with less severe illnesses," Kerr told 9News.

"We started seeing it three weeks ago with a real influx of patients, and it's been every single day since, and I expect it to go on for several weeks to come," he said.