Swine flu, is it bad in your area?

ABC News reported Tuesday on the occurrences of the H1N1 virus. Although the virus has spread across the United States, the News Medical Unit wanted to test which areas had the most severe occurrences. The Medical Unit contacted 60 hospitals from every region of the country.

The results came back with some interesting information. The results showed that not only does the severity of the illness vary from region to region but even varies among hospitals in the same state.

California is a perfect example of this, Dr. Larry Satkowiak, medical director of the emergency department at Children’s Hospital Central California near Fresno stated,

Compared to last year, we’re up about 25 percent from last October, most of that is due to flu-related illnesses.

Just roughly 300 miles south, Dr. Jake Jacoby, hospital director for emergency preparedness and response at the University of California at San Diego stated,

We have not activated any surge steps at this point. We are ready to deal with larger numbers of patients, but so far we have not had to worry about that.

The issue with the flu pandemic is that it can change locations at any time. Furthermore, Jacoby stated that, “that’s the nature of pandemic flu — it comes in waves, and different cities are affected at different points in time. It is not unexpected that some cities will be worse than others.”