Hawke's Bay residents feeling under the weather and wondering what to do are advised to call Healthline for free health advice.
Nearly a fifth of the 1300 calls fielded by the service were from Hawke's Bay residents.
General manager Andrea Pettett said at this time of year hospitals could be overwhelmed with people suffering from flu-like symptoms but some could receive medical attention elsewhere.
"It can be difficult for people to know whether they should go to the emergency department if they are feeling really ill but expert advice from Healthline is always at hand," she said.
"Healthline nurses can help callers determine how serious the symptoms are and whether they should go to the emergency department, see their GP or manage the symptoms themselves at home. This can help leave hospitals free for the most serious cases."
The free Healthline call service, 0800 611 116, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.