Swine flu hotline closed as infection rate plummets

The swine flu hotline set up at the height of the pandemic has closed down.

The National Pandemic Flu Service, which dispensed drugs to patients in England without the need to see doctors, has stopped running after a sharp decline in the number of cases of the H1N1 virus, the BBC has reported.

Health officials said the hotline and website could be restored in seven days should the situation change.

At its peak, 40,000 people a week received antivirals through the National Pandemic Flu Service.

In July last year, about 146,450 working days were thought to be lost to flu-related sickness, compared to about 48,329 days in the same month the previous year, Personnel Today reported.

But the number of people receiving antiviral medication has now fallen to below 5,000 a week.

About five million of the 90 million doses of antiviral drugs that were made available were actually dispensed.

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