Risks of influenza pandemic

25 November 2008

The Committee’s original report took the view that the first line of defence against a potential human influenza pandemic was effective surveillance and control of avian influenza, in particular in south east Asia. The Committee recommended more support for generic health services in Asia, where new strains of flu have emerged in recent years, and for Government departments to work together to produce a contingency plan in case of an outbreak of a strain of avian-flu that would easily transfer to human beings.

In this follow up session, to be held on Tuesday 25 November the Committee will ask Ms Primarolo about the UK’s preparedness for flu pandemic, whether the NHS is adequately resourced and prepared for a flu outbreak, and for the Government’s views on how essential public services would cope with a large-scale loss of staff due to illness caused by pandemic influenza.

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