DIRECTOR of primary health care in the Balearics, Joan Pou, reported yesterday that because many people are confusing a heavy common cold with the flu virus due to it having similar symptoms, local doctors' surgeries are under increasing pressure from patients believing they need urgent treatment.

Although the regional public health service, Ib-Salut, doesn't have figures for the number of people falling prey to common colds on an annual basis (there is no obligation for such records to be kept), Pou confirmed that out-patient surgeries are currently swelling with numbers of patients who are suffering from cold and stomach viruses.

Family doctor Txema Bravo said yesterday that the common cold and flu viruses can often appear to be similar, but cold symptoms are much lighter than those of flu.


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