Algarve health centres “prepared for peak of flu season”

Regional health boss Paulo Morgado has said that the Algarve’s health centres will be “prepared for the peak of flu season” although the number of patients seeking treatment has been below average so far.

“The situation has been calm, stable and the number of flu cases has decreased compared to last year,” he told Lusa news agency on Monday.

As he explained, the peak of flu season in the Algarve usually occurs later that in other parts of the country due to the milder climate. Thus health authorities expect the number of people with the flu to increase in the coming days, with the peak expected in the “third or fourth week of January”.

While no kind of “contingency plan” is in place yet, Morgado guarantees that the region’s public health services will be ready to cope with an increase in the number of patients seeking treatment either by reinforcing medical teams or extending schedules.

He also advises people with flu symptoms to contact SNS24, the national health service hotline (808 24 24 24), which will refer them to the “most adequate health service”. Morgado says that patients who do this won’t have to pay ‘taxas moderadoras’ (admission charges) and will be put on the ‘priority list’.