Northern Ireland Sets Up Swine Flu Helpline

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Northern Ireland Health Minister Michael McGimpsey has today confirmed he is setting up a local helpline for anyone concerned about swine flu.

The Northern Ireland swine flu helpline number is 0800 0514 142 and is expected to be available from tomorrow. It is a freephone number and any caller will be put through to someone who will be able to provide advice and guidance for anyone displaying flu-like symptoms.

Health Minister Michael McGimpsey said: “In Northern Ireland today I have set up a local swine flu helpline for anyone who has recently returned from Mexico or an affected area and has concerns about their health. I anticipate that this will go live from tomorrow.

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“I have also ensured that leaflets and posters providing guidance to travellers are available from all our ports, airports and other transport hubs.

“In the next few days, every household in the country will receive a leaflet providing advice about the basic steps people can take to avoid infection and this advice can also be found on government websites."

A nationwide media campaign covering television, radio and newspapers is expected to go live from tomorrow.

The Minister continued: “We continue to maintain the strictest surveillance and monitoring here in Northern Ireland. We have no cases confirmed here, although there are two cases currently under investigation.

“Northern Ireland has robust plans in place for dealing with situations like this. We have worked and are working extremely closely with the rest of the UK and the Republic of Ireland to ensure we are prepared and to ensure that the public is protected to the maximum level possible.”

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