UPDATE: On Saturday, the average occupancy rate at hospitals in the Greater Montreal Area was little improved at 120 per cent. The most critical situation was at St-Mary's Hospital with an occupancy rate of 193 per cent.

MONTREAL - Local emergency rooms are once again bursting at the seams Friday with patients complaining of flu symptoms: Lakeshore Hospital has an occupancy rate of 210 percent with some patients waiting up to 48 hours for a bed, while the Jewish General Hospital reports a 200 percent occupancy rate.

That’s because the flu is hitting the city hard.

“This is a bad flu year, we've been waiting about a decade for this flu year to happen,” said Brian Ward, Infectious Diseases Specialist at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC).

Health officials suggest people think long and hard before going to a hospital, as resting at home is often the best medicine.

Those who are having a hard time breathing or who vomit for more than four hours should head on in to see a doctor, however.

Small children who show signs of blue lips, neck stiffness, confusion and going 12 hours without urination should also be brought in.

Sales of over-the-counter medications are up by about 20 percent over last year, according to pharmacist Labib Ghali.

Medical experts are recommending vaccinations for those who wish to avert the dreaded flu.