The new coronavirus is making the lives of patients at some of America’s top hospitals a nightmare.

Southern California braces for difficult flu season as cases rise after COVID lull

In this June 26, 2020, photo, a patient is seen in a hospital hallway in Fresno, Calif. The new coronavirus is making the lives of patients at some of America’s top hospitals a nightmare. The number of cases at UC-San Diego Medical Center jumped from a projected 50 to 400 after a flu season that has been unusually mild for Southern California. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

In this June 26, 2020, photo, a patient is seen in a hospital hallway in Fresno, Calif. The new coronavirus is making the lives of patients at some of America’s top hospitals a nightmare. The number of cases at UC-San Diego Medical Center jumped from a projected 50 to 400 after a flu season that has been unusually mild for Southern California. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The new coronavirus has made the lives of patients at some of America’s top hospitals a nightmare. The number of cases at UC-San Diego Medical Center jumped from a projected 50 to 400 after a flu season that has been unusually mild for Southern California.

That’s despite a steady stream of test results showing that while the coronavirus is killing people, the number of confirmed cases in Southern California has been on the rise. California has reported more than 600 cases, nearly two-thirds of its total. But just as California’s cases are beginning to come down, it’s feared those infections could rise exponentially in the coming weeks as more cases are confirmed in the surrounding region.

“We’re already seeing a lot of patients with severe disease. If this level of cases remains, it will have a devastating effect on our hospital system and the health of our community at large,” said Dr. John Baratta, an infectious disease specialist and member of the medical advisory board at UCSD.

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The virus is spreading fast in the area and has overwhelmed hospital systems and health care providers across the country. The virus has killed more than 16,000 people and infected more than 88,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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