Hundreds of cases of the H1N1 flu already have been counted in Missouri–so many that the state health department has set up a 24-hour hotline to provide information to flu victims.
A toll-free call to 877-358-4141 will connect a flu sufferer to a medical professional 24 hours a day. Specialists can answer questions about the flu, when medical care is needed, how to limit the spread of it, and the availability of H1N1 vaccine and the regular seasonal vaccine.
Health Department spokesman Kit Wagar says the H1N1 is providing early-season challenges. He notes the traditional start of the flu season is the first Sunday in October. In the last five years, Missouri averages four cases in that first week. In the first week of 2009, the department has counted 1411 cases. Three deaths have been confirmed as related to the H1N1 virus. But Wagar says most people will get over the flu in a day or two.