Balearics officials yesterday moved to ease the concerns of the general public about anthrax, stressing that the islands' health services are perfectly prepared to deal with the virus. Balearic Minister for Health, Aina Salom and Minister for the Interior, Josep Maria Costa, appeared shoulder to shoulder calming the public's fears. Salom said that should anybody receive a suspicious letter or package, then the 112 emergency number should be contacted as quickly as possible so that the emergency centre can take the necessary precautions and dispatch a special health and safety team to the scene. At the special press conference, Salom said there are no reasons for alarm in the Balearics. Anthrax is not unknown to the region's medical centres and all are equipped with the sufficient medication and materials to deal with anthrax. She said that both her department and the Ministry for Interior is in continual contact with the central government office in the Balearics and the Insalud health service in order to be able to respond to cases of anthrax, of which there have been none in the Balearics since 1984. Salom explained that should a suspect package be received, and not opened, then specially equipped police in protective clothing will take the item for testing at a laboratory at Son Dureta hospital.
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