• Pierce County hospitals fill up due to flu outbreak, air quality


    TACOMA, Wash. - Due to a flu outbreak and bad air quality, hospitals in Pierce County are filling up and wait times are getting longer.


    MultiCare reported an unusually high number of patients at Tacoma General and Good Samaritan in Puyallup.


    In the last two weeks, Pierce County hospitals have moved patients from filled hospitals to less crowded facilities, according to KIRO 7 Eyewitness News partner the Tacoma News Tribune. Extra beds have been placed into rooms that are usually private.


    “My friend was just here yesterday with a 105 (degree) fever,” said hospital visitor Kellie Angel.


    A spokesman for Franciscan Health Services, which runs St. Joseph Medical Center, told KIRO 7 reporter Graham Johnson that the flu is not the only cause.


    Another factor has been the stagnant air causing respiratory illnesses to become worse.


    The flu is taking a toll, and at least eight people have died from the flu statewide.


    There were four deaths in Snohomish County, two people in King County, one in Spokane County and a child in Pierce County.


    A hospital spokesperson told KIRO 7 that even though their facilities are busy, the quality of care remains high and they are able to help anyone who needs it. 

    Next Up: