Rochester, N.Y. - As soon as you walk into Rochester Immediate Care, a flu station greets you at the door.
The station is equipped with masks and sanitizer.
“We're seeing a lot of people coming in with shortness of breath and wheezing,” Medical Director for Rochester Immediate care Janet Williams said.
Because emergency rooms are filling up, hospitals are asking those with non -life threatening flu symptoms to go to urgent care centers.
It seems patients are listening.
“We're setting records here in our urgent care center in terms of the number of patients that we're seeing per day,” Williams said.
Williams said since Christmas, the number of sick patients has jumped.
Rochester Immediate care is seeing about 100 patients a day; sometimes 120.
A third of those patients have flu symptoms.
The surge in patients is causing some delays.
“Our motto is to have people in and out in an hour, however with the recent patient volume that's coming, it's taking a little longer to get patients through the system,” Williams said.
But, where residents share space such as nursing homes, it's about preventing a mass spread among those most at risk.
“What they're trying to do is keep elders in their rooms,” Director of Health Services at Kirkhaven Transitional and Long Term Care Michele Cone said.
At Kirkhaven, 15 of the 147 residents have the flu; All had their flu shot.
Cone says these numbers are typical this time of year.
In addition to encouraging good hygiene, the staff hopes a new household setting, where fewer residents share space can cut down on illnesses.
“I think that more intimate setting allows us to identify things sooner,” Cone said.
At St. Ann’s Home, there have been four confirmed flu cases; all of them in their early 80’s.
Both facilities say because residents had a flu shot along with symptoms caught earlier, combined - residents are not as sick as they could have been.
Doctors still stress that it's not too late to get a flu shot.Rochester Immediate Care is hoping to have a better understanding of the flu after this season.
They’ve partnered with Johnson and Johnson for flu research.
Researchers hope to be able to detect the flu more accurately and develop a better treatment for different flu strains.