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Swine Flu in Mallorca

H1N1

Last weekend, Mallorca suffered its second fatal victim of the swine flu virus. A 2 year old boy died at the hospital of Son Llàtzer in Palma with symptons of La gripe A, as the H1N1 virus is called here in Spain. Last September, a 33 year old female from Nigeria died in Mallorca of the same virus and at the same hospital. As per today, the swine flu virus has caused the death of 88 people all over Spain.

Yesterday, the long awaited campaign of vaccinations against the H1N1 virus started in the Balearics. A total of 215,000 Tamiflú doses are ready to be administered by hospitals and Centres de Salut in the Illes Balears, thanks to Insalut and the Conselleria de Salud y Consumo. According to the health officials here on the island, a total of 133,000 persons are considered to be at risk in the islas. If you suspect you are one of these, you can telephone 902.079.079 between 07h00 and 21h00, Monday to Saturday, for an appointment. You can not go to any old Farmacia or Apotecario to get your flu shot there.

Having recently spoken to a medico, though, it would appear that the bigger risk this year seems to be that of the ordinary Influenza, and not the extra special Gripe A. But, vaccines against the seasonal flu have already run out in Mallorca’s hospitals and doctors’ surgeries. However, one or the other pharmacy may still have some remaining serums.

The photo was taken in Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: November 10th, 2009. The time was 12:48:37.

1 reply »

  1. Love the blog, keep up the good work.

    Re. your swine flu post: Tamiflu is a antiviral drug, and not an H1N1 vaccine, so I have some doubts about its use in the Balearics vaccination campaign that you describe. I’m not a professional heath worker, so I may be wrong, but just in case any of your readers are mislead I thought I’d make the point.

    Tamiflu is administered orally (as far as I’m aware), to people who contract flu or are showing flu like symptoms. It is normally administered to those at a higher risk of developing complications from flu (seasonal or swine). In the UK Tamiflu is currently available free to those who have swine flu or who are showing symptoms, and I suspect that this is now what is happening in Mallorca. In contrast, the H1N1 vaccine is administered via needle, in the same way as the seasonal flu vaccine (flu shot) and is currently available (in UK) to front line health workers and others at risk only. It may or may not be rolled out to the general public at a later date.

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