Feeds

Flu-related flapping begins

A new unit of terror

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

The bird flu hysteria-mongering has begun, as a doctor prepares to tell the British Medical Association that preparations for a flu pandemic are "woefully inadequate" and could lead to "1,000 September 11ths".

Quite what he means by this is something of a mystery, since we know of no correlation between sick birds and the likelihood of several planes coming to blows with tall buildings.

Still, Dr Steve Hajioff wants UK planners to stop worrying about stockpiling vaccines, and focus instead on making sure the country's infrastructure would continue to function in the event of many thousands of people becoming ill at once.

After all, if almost half the population was to fall ill at the same time the economic impact would, surely, be greater even than that of people skiving off work to watch the footie.

Dr Hajioff told The Scotsman: "We are expecting a real flu pandemic of the kind we have not seen for years and this is one of the biggest catastrophes. What's more, it's a totally predictable one, but if we act now we can mitigate its effects."

He argues that if a pandemic as lethal as the one that swept the world in 1918 were to strike again, hundreds of thousands of people across the country would die. The 1918 outbreak saw about 2.5 per cent of the population killed by the virus.

"In the present day, you are talking about five million people across Europe and hundreds of thousands in the UK. It's like 1,000 September 11ths all at once," he said.

"I'm a GP and I can prepare my surgery, but if the electricity company that supplies my power has not prepared, then I am not going to be able to treat patients." ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Microsoft's anti-bug breakthrough: Wire devs to BRAIN SCANNERS
Clippy: It looks your hands are shaking, are you sure you want to commit this code?
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.