NHS Direct could be a useful early warning system for respiratory infections

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 28 June 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:1343
  1. Roger Dobson
  1. Abergavenny

    More than 600 000 calls about respiratory problems, including influenza and cough, were made over two years to NHS Direct, the NHS's 24 hour telephone helpline.

    Almost half of these calls were about fever, says a new study in the Journal of Infection (doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2007.04.353) that looked at the seasonality of calls concerning respiratory problems that were made to the nurse led service, which has been running for eight years.

    Calls concerning cough and difficulty in breathing peaked in late December, and the numbers of calls …

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