Friday, January 22, 2010

H1N1 Influenza (Swine Flu) Public Hotline Closing

Web site, local health departments still available to help Kentuckians find information, vaccine

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) announced that the toll-free influenza hotline created to answer questions about H1N1 (swine flu) and seasonal flu is closing due to decreased call volume. Kentuckians are encouraged to contact their local health department or visit the Health Alerts Web site for up-to-date information about swine flu and where to receive the swine flu vaccine.

The hotline launched in early October, and fielded approximately 10,000 calls. It can be reactivated if needed in the future. It was staffed by nurses and administered by Kosair Children’s Hospital, a part of Norton Healthcare, through a contract with DPH funded by a federal grant award related to H1N1 activities. Kosair Children’s Hospital also operates the state's Regional Poison Center hotline.   

"I would like to extend our thanks to our partners at Kosair Children's Hospital for the excellent information they have provided Kentuckians about the current influenza pandemic," said DPH Commissioner William Hacker, M.D. "We encourage people to contact their local health departments with questions now, or to visit our Web site for the most up-to-date information. While we have seen a decrease in flu activity recently, it is still important for Kentuckians to receive the H1N1 vaccine. Flu is unpredictable, but we do know that if more people get protected by vaccine, the disease is less likely to spread in the coming months."

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