THE flu virus is less prevalent in the Balearics this year, with an estimated seven cases of the disease for every 100'000 residents in the first week of this year (January 1-7). This is one of the lowest incidences in Spain (national average 22.53 cases), although the highest incidence in the islands usually comes from mainland Spain. The amount of cases is much lower than this time last year when there were 59 cases for every 100'000 residents in the Balearics. This means that the islands hospitals are not overoccupied these days and are 90 percent full, according to a spokesman for the Balearic Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs. Traditionally, the first weeks of January are always the most critical for cases of flu but this year, partly due to milder weather than last year, the situation is better. At national level, there are 22.53 cases per 100'000 residents, equivalent to a figure 16 times lower than that recorded in the same period in 2005, according to the Flu Watch Group of the National Network for Epidemic Observation.

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