Madrid.—The cold weather front which has swept across Spain during February has pushed up the number of people suffering from flu, the Carlos III Health Institute in Madrid reported yesterday.

During the week of 6th to 12th February, there were 249.9 cases of flu for every 100'000 head of population the Institute confirmed, although the rate in the Balearics of 106.2 per 100'000 head of population was well below the national average for the same period.

During the last week of January, the rate for Spain as a whole was just 196.1 for every 100'000, but the Siberian cold has prompted an outbreak that has reached epidemic proportions in some regions, said the Institute.

The flu is currently raging in Aragon where there are 514.5 cases for every 100'000 head of population followed by Asturias (412.9). At the other end of the scale the flu is at its least virulent in the region of Madrid where there are just 90.4 cases for every 100'000 head of population. Over the winter period, there have been 176 people across 13 regions with flu serious enough to be hospitalised. Of these, 10 have died but eight were due to complications which the flu caused in already-existing health problems.

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