Emergency rooms fill with record numbers, but many aren't ill, just afraid

New York Times, May 4, 2009

Some hospital emergency rooms have seen record-breaking numbers of patients as those with coughs, sore throats, and fevers—and sometimes no symptoms at all—have sought reassurance that they do not have the deadly H1N1 virus. The surges have been particularly heavy at children's hospitals, presumably because the young are so susceptible to respiratory diseases with comparable symptoms. Some hospitals have had to increase staffing and enact specialized triage plans. Waiting times have billowed in some emergency rooms, even for the seriously ill.


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