Call 8-1-1 to assess flu before going to hospital

If you’ve got flu symptoms, before you head to the emergency room, clinic or doctor’s office call 8-1-1 the provincial Ministry of Health is urging British Columbians.

"If you have influenza, you can be highly infectious and an unnecessary visit…could put others at risk," spokesperson Kirsty Anderson said in a press release.

When you call 8-1-1 your call will be directed to a registered nurse who can assess your symptoms over the phone and advise you about whether you need to make the trek to the hospital.

The service is available any time of the day or night.

"Remember that the best way to stop the spread of the flu is to wash your hands and stay home if you feel sick," the release said.