GPs to get drill for bird flu pandemic

This is a very interesting development. It seems that H5N1 is being taken even more seriously than before:

Every doctor’s surgery in Britain will next month be sent official instructions on how to handle an outbreak of bird flu as ministers step up their preparations for a global pandemic that, if the worst fears are borne out, could kill up to 50m people.

The UK’s 10,465 surgeries will receive a package of information from the government to help tackle a flu pandemic, which scientists warn is now inevitable. Ministers and officials have privately expressed the view that a bird flu pandemic poses a greater threat than terrorism.

The Department of Health says up to 50m people could die worldwide, of whom between 50,000 and 650,000 would be in the UK.

That’s quite a range isn’t it? In other words they really have no idea how many people it could kill. I think 50 million globally is quite conservative too.

And whither Ireland’s response? I guess some copying of UK policy as usual….