By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
THE Balearic ‘flu outbreak is getting worse but the Ib-Salut Balearic health service said yesterday that the situation has yet to reach epidemic proportions.

There are 700 people suffering from ‘flu in the Balearics at the moment, a rate of 70 cases per 100'000.
Slightly more than the 65 per 100'000 last week but, according to Josep Pomar, the director general of the health service, the number of patients has to reach 200 per 100'000 for an epidemic to be declared.

However, the number of cases is going to continue rising between now and the end of the month as the ‘flu outbreak starts to peak.
Officially, the Balearic situation is “moderate” and most of those suffering from ‘flu are aged over 60, pregnant women and young children - the three high risk groups.

Over 110'000 people were vaccinated against the ‘flu this year. But health service sources said yesterday that it is difficult to predict how the ‘flu outbreak will develop in the Balearics because it has started a month later than on the mainland, where many regions have been struck by an epidemic and hospitals are struggling to cope.

The number of patients suffering from flu this week is higher than last year but the Balearic health service remains on Level One ‘flu alert.
That was activated on December 15 and, unless the situation spirals into an epidemic, then hospitals will remain on Level One until March 15.
In the meantime, the Balearic ‘flu commission will continue to closely monitor developments and will decide what emergency action is to be taken in the event of a sudden surge in patients.

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