Contact: Collette DuValle, 317-373-2391

Health Department Flu Line to Remain Open This Weekend

The Marion County Health Department will maintain its Flu Helpline Saturday and Sunday to answer questions concerning Influenza H1N1, commonly known as Swine Flu. More than 1,700 calls have come to the center in its first week of operation.

The 221-3366 Flu Helpline was established for non-emergency flu questions and to keep 911, the Mayor's Action Center, 211 and other community resources from being inundated with calls best answered by the health department. English and Spanish speaking nurses and health educators are answering the calls.

A majority of calls relate to symptoms. Symptoms of this new strain of influenza include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some people with Swine Origin Influenza A have also reported a runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Those experiencing symptoms like these are asked to stay home and contact their primary care physician.

The Marion County Health Department and Indiana State Department of Health remind the public to follow basic precautionary measures to prevent the spread of a cold, influenza, or any infectious disease, including:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Cough or sneeze into your sleeve, rather than your hands, if a tissue is not available.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

Additional information is available at www.mchd.com.

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