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Healthcare Centers in Iceland under Pressure

Many have sought treatment for the flu and related illnesses at healthcare centers in Iceland since December. The flu is unusually persistent this winter. Healthcare centers in the capital region are especially strained due to lack of general practitioners.

Atli Árnason, physician and chairman of the board of Laeknavaktin healthcare center, said the center has never treated more patients than in December 2007 and mid-January was also particularly busy, Morgunbladid reports.

Árnason said most people seek treatment for the flu, others for viral diseases and bacterial infections of different kinds, like streptococcus, sinusitis, pneumonia and bronchitis.

Normally the flu peaks at a certain time, but not this winter. Doctors have not noticed a peak yet; people have been falling ill with the flu steadily since December, which Árnason said is rather unusual.

Two strains of flu were reported to have reached Iceland in mid-January.

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