City to Launch New Flu Hotline

Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009  |  Updated 12:30 PM EDT
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City to Launch New Flu Hotline

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NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 11: The Delany Medical Center advertises for flu shots on November 11, 2009 in the Bronx. The medical center has experienced higher than average interest in the shots as they have supplies of both the seasonal flu vaccine and the H1N1 vaccine. Due to limited supplies and nationwide concern over the flu, the web browser Google unveiled a new service yesterday which will assist people in finding the closest places to receive their seasonal and H1N1 flu shots. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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New York City is launching a new hotline that will provide concerned residents with information on what to do if they or a family member feels sick with flu-like illness.

The NYC Flu Line with launch tomorrow, a press release obtained by NBCNewYork said.

Callers with symptoms of influenza will be connected to registered nurses, who will provide information and advice on whether to seek care. For concerned patients who don’t have or can’t reach a regular health care provider, NYC FluLine is an alternative to standing in line at a hospital emergency department, the City said.

“The city is activating the NYC FluLine to help New Yorkers decide if they need medical care for symptoms that might be a sign of influenza,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City Health Commissioner.

On Sunday it was reported that turnout is way up at swine flu vaccine clinics the city is holding at public schools around the city.

A total of 7,784 people were vaccinated at seven schools on Saturday. That's compared to only 1,701 on Nov. 7, the first day of the weekend vaccination clinics.

City health officials set up the weekend clinics to vaccinate middle school and high school students. After turnout was light on the first weekend they expanded the pool to include pregnant women, people who care for infants and adults with underlying medical conditions.

The swine flu vaccine is being offered to elementary schoolchildren at school.

The weekend clinics continue until Dec. 13.

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