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PALMA WITH the World Health Organisation (WHO) having declared the so-called “swine flu” a global pandemic, a Balearic government spokesman said yesterday that there was no need for people in the Islands to be overly concerned at the announcement as the disease had made very few inroads in Spain.

The spokesman said that the regional Minister for Health, Vicenç Thomas had updated the government on the latest developments in the spread of the virus and pointed out that the Balearics had recorded only one confirmed case, on Ibiza. It was also made clear in a Health ministry statement that the “swine flu” had been declared a pandemic not because it was a serious disease if treated correctly - but because of the numbers of people that had been affected across the globe. All cases reported in Spain and the Balearics have been mild and patients have responded well to treatment, said the ministry statement.

The spokesman claimed that maximum communication had been maintained between the regional and Central Governments since the first cases of the flu appeared in Spain in order to take preventive measures against its spread and to apply the necessary treatment for those who had become sufferers. A military barracks was recently closed on the mainland after several army personnel started showing signs of symptoms of what is officially referred to as the AH1N1 virus. First cases emerged in Mexico where its initially unchecked spread brought daily life in large towns to a halt.