October 22, 2009

Minnesota Flu Hotline Coverage

By Kelley Luckstein

FluLine Hotline Now Online

The answers to your flu questions are now just a phone call away.


In the midst of this H1N1 pandemic, The Minnesota Department of Health is the latest to launch a statewide flu hotline.


It's the newest effort to reduce the number of calls and visits to local hospitals…


The system was launched to keep sick patients at home and away from the emergency rooms that are already seeing an overwhelming number of flu patients.


Including Mayo Clinic hospitals.


"We actually have an unprecedented number of calls in the last 3 to 4 weeks, and most of these are related to influenza. So I say we have about 400 calls a day," Dr. Prathibha Varkey from Mayo Clinic.


KAAL by Mary Taing, 10/21/09



Minnesota "FluHotline" Starts Taking Calls

If you are suffering from the flu, the state is taking a new step that officials say will help you get treatments for the illness without ever leaving your home. On Wednesday the "Minnesota FluLine" began taking calls in an effort to help the growing number of people coming down with the H1N1 virus. It's the country's first state-wide FluHotline and officials are urging people with flu like symptoms to call in, instead of stopping in to their doctor's offices.


"Basically residents of Minnesota who have questions, concerns or symptoms regarding the flu can call in," says Dr. Prathibha Varkey with the Mayo Clinic.


Varkey is praising the new toll free hotline as a quicker, more affective method to treat the more than 400 people who call in every day with flu concerns.


"The main thing is to provide access to those are concerned and who have questions and also to provide immediate access to those who need treatment," she says.


Officials want to divert calls away from doctors offices and hospitals, who are currently being overwhelmed. Which is why there is now a set staff of medical professionals who will field calls from around the state 24 hours a day 7 days a week.


KTTC by Chris Conte, 10/21/09


Additional coverage:


Pioneer Press

Tags: flu, hotline, Infectious Diseases

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