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Last Updated: Thursday July 23 2009 14:44 GMT

Swine flu hot-line goes live

Boy sneezing

A phone and internet service has been launched to let people get treatment for swine flu without seeing a doctor.

The National Flu Service only covers England, and is the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

The number of people going to a doctor about swine flu in England has doubled in the past week to just over 100,000. So far 26 people in England have died.

Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland aren't getting the service as it's thought they don't yet need it.

However they will be able to join the system if that changes.

Four people with swine flu have been killed in Scotland.

Pregnant women, people with health conditions and very young babies in England will still all be referred to doctors.

National Flu Service
The National Flu Service website
Website URL: www.direct.gov.uk/pandemicflu
Phone number: 0800 1513 100

The system has been set up to take pressure off doctors, who are very overworked at the moment.

People who get in touch with the service will be asked a series of questions to see if they have the bug, and could be given medicine if they do.