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March 7, 2005

50,000 Scots could die from flu pandemic

Topics: Health Issues

Just how serious is avian influenza and it's potential for devastating loss of life? Let's take a look at how Scotland is reacting to the problem!

"Without medical countermeasures, the number of deaths in the UK resulting from pandemic flu could range from 50,000 to an upper estimate of 500,000. That translates to between 5,000 and 50,000 potential deaths in Scotland" - Dr Mac Armstrong, chief medical officer

A FLU pandemic that could kill between 5,000 and 50,000 people in Scotland is inevitable, the country's chief medical officer said yesterday.

Amid fears a new strain of Asian bird flu could develop into a worldwide epidemic, UK and Scottish ministers have set out contingency plans to deal with the impact of a virus spreading to Scotland.

Andy Kerr, the health minister, said £15 million is to be spent over the next two years on stockpiling 1.2 million courses of the anti-viral drug Tamiflu - enough to treat a quarter of the population.

But anti-viral drugs can only reduce the severity of symptoms. Developing a vaccine could not start until the new strain of flu has emerged.

Posted by Hyscience at March 7, 2005 8:42 PM

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