Hospitals are prepared.

Be warned the annual winter flu virus is about, doctors advised yesterday. Local hospitals are preparing for an influx of cases. The cold weather coupled with the virus has meant that many people in the Balearics have already fallen to the illness. As the annual flu outbreak spreads out across the mainland, the Balearics is ready for to handle the epidemic this year. Last winter the health service and public hospitals were thrown in to chaos by a sortage of beds and a breakdown in co-operation between the island's hospitals, but this year, apart from the opening of Palma's second hospital, steps have been taken to make sure that bed storage is avoided. For the moment, the number of flu cases is similar to last winter, but the number of patients is expected to continue growing over the next few weeks as the virus spreads. Doctors have said that the flu strains this winter very similar to last year and that the vaccination is proving most effective at knocking out the virus. The most common virus this year does not attack the stomach but respitartory system, causing a cough and high a temperature.


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