MU Health Care starts H1N1 hot line to answer questions

Thursday, September 24, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — In response to a number of calls and questions regarding the H1N1 influenza virus, MU Health Care has set up an information hot line.

MU Health Care will update the hot line with new information when available and answer frequently asked questions on topics such as symptoms, vaccinations and health tips.

"Having a centralized message in place and being able to update it is just another tool for us this flu season to help educate the public," Jeff Hoelscher, MU Health Care spokesman, said.

He said MU Health Care has received calls and visits from patients curious about H1N1, though he didn't know how many. The Student Health Center has put in place three operators to deal primarily with flu-related phone calls.

"We have patients who come in to all our clinics, and they have questions, too," Hoelscher said. "An educated patient is what we're looking for so they can make the best health choices for their care."

In addition to the hot line, MU also has a Web site to update the community with H1N1 news.

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Brian Jarvis September 24, 2009 | 8:04 p.m.

Okay, but what's the number for the hotline? Is it ready to call yet? If not, when will it be ready? ? Is this in response to swine flu specifically? I know you're limited on space, but a few more facts would be helpful.

And if you really feel like being a news hound, what I want to know is where I can get a flu shot/nasal spray free of charge. If it's such a health concern this year, there ought to be free vaccinations somewhere.

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