01/05/2013 05:07 EST | Updated 03/07/2013 05:12 EST

Montreal clinics and emergency rooms overcrowded

Montreal hospitals and waiting rooms continue to be over-crowded with patients suffering from the flu and gastro-intestinal viruses.

In December, public health officials urged people to treat mild fever or flu-like symptoms at home and avoid the hospitals except for emergency situations.

Waiting rooms continue to be jam-packed in hospitals as well as city walk-in clinics.

Many people are arriving hours before clinics open to try to get appointments.

At Montreal's Queen Elizabeth Urgent Care Clinic, patients are being told to arrive before 1 p.m. if they want to be seen by a doctor in the same day.

According to Lise Chabot, spokesperson for Montreal public health authority, there could be up to eight more weeks of flu season remaining.

She said she anticipates emergency rooms will continue to be as full as they are now for the next few days.