Officials Set up Tents in Austin to Accommodate Flood of Patients with H1N1 Flu Symptoms

In what some experts think may be a harbinger of things to come this fall, officials of Dell Children's Medical Center in Austin have set up tents outside the hospital to accommodate the crush of patients flooding the emergency room with symptoms of the pandemic H1N1 virus, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

The swine flu is hitting central Texas and doctors expect it to get worse before it gets any better. Dell Children's Medical Center in Austin is so swamped with patients; they've set up tents outside the emergency room to handle the milder cases.

Stella Castillo, 46, of Pflugerville, who stood in the hospital foyer just outside a packed waiting room at Dell Children's on Monday with her 16-year-old daughter, said some primary care doctors are telling parents to go straight to the ER because they are too busy to see any more patients. Children wearing masks swarmed around a desk not far from Castillo, who said she had been waiting about three hours.