Swine flu likely to become a pandemic warns Health Secretary

May 15, 2009 at 4:26 am Leave a comment

by ePolitix.com

ePolitix.com writes about Thursday’s updated statement on swine flu from the health secretary Alan Johnson.

The health secretary has confirmed there is a high likelihood that the current outbreak of swine flu will turn into a full pandemic.

Alan Johnson confirmed that every continent now has medically-recognised cases of swine flu, with 78 confirmed cases in UK.

But he warned that there are “still many uncertainties” about the virus.

“Early studies indicate that this virus has pandemic potential,” he said. And flu viruses are prone to mutation, he added.

Johnson added, however, that he does not expect the government to have to change its tactic of containment “for several weeks”.

The health secretary recognised that productive steps were already being taken, with primary care trusts identifying vulnerable people in their communities and the flu phoneline being made available by autumn.

He described the flu phoneline as “groundbreaking” and “fully plugged into local heath services”.

And the interim phone service, an 0800 number, will work in a similar way to NHS Direct, Johnson explained, with symptoms checked against an algorithm.

Click here to continue reading.

This article was kindly supplied by ePolitix.com, a division of Dods. It provides up-to-the-minute parliamentary news – focusing on events in Westminster.



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