There's a new flu hotline in Milwaukee

Posted at 12:53 PM, Jan 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-15 13:53:39-05

If you think you have the flu, you might not have to go to the doctor.

There's a number you can call to get help and find out if you really do need to go to the doctor or even to the emergency room. It's called "Flu on Call" and is a pilot program designed by the CDC.

Milwaukee is one of two places in the country that's been chosen to test it out.

The idea is to eventually create a nationwide hotline system that can be put in place in case of a flu pandemic, like when H1N1 hit in 2009.

 “We have a number of candidates right now primarily in Southeast Asia and China that have resulted in clusters of outbreaks that have quickly been suppressed," said Paul Biedrzycki, the Milwaukee Health Department Director. "These are new flu strains so everyone is susceptible."

The flu on call number is 1-855-435-8722.

The pilot program will run through mid-February and then be evaluated on it's performance, including it's impact on flu cases in the Milwaukee area.