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Joan Collins THE Balearic Ministry of Health has issued its action plan which will be executed in the case of anyone contracting the H5N1 virus, the virus thought to cause bird flu. According to the plan, Son Dureta on Majorca, Can Misses on Ibiza, and Monte Toro on Minorca have been designated as the hospitals to which any cases detected should be referred. The Ministry said yesterday that the 061 ambulance service would be the first link in the chain as it would be their crews who would go to attend the person who may be affected by the virus. The exception to this would be, of course, in the case of the detection of the virus in a patient in one of the three above mentioned hospitals. The 061 service would go to the place where the suspected case was and the ambulance crew would contact the hospital. The hospital staff would then alert the clinical team who deal with these cases, which should always be the same. The plan also establishes the setting aside of a special area in each hospital and fixes a protocol of preventative measures to be taken. Among these are how to treat the patient, from where he was found to his admittance to hospital. The protocol also stipulates a procedure for taking blood samples, which would go first to the Son Dureta laboratory and would later be sent to the Majadahonda laboratory, as well as other procedures for reporting cases and contacts. In accordance with the information released, the Ministry staff have had meetings with the heads of the hospitals to inform them of the procedures, which have been specifically designed to treat any cases which may be found. In the case of a pandemic, the Public Health Department has charged all public and private hospitals with the development of a contingency plan to deal with a vast number of cases. The Ministry of Health's bird flu information campaign for travellers who “are travelling to or returning from an affected area” started this week in all Spanish airports, where they have put up posters on the wall and cards on check in and information desks. AENA (the Spanish Airports Authority) said that the posters and information cards (which are in English and Spanish) started to be distributed on Monday in the airports of Bilbao, Madrid, Valencia, Vitoria and Sevilla. It is expected that they will be available in all airports during the next few days.







Airports