Fraser Nelson

Two points about swine flu

Two points about swine flu
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A well-informed friend of mine, in the medical world, has been dealing with this swine flu scare, and I thought I'd pass on what he has to say.

The good news: this is not the end of the human race. Swine flu is contagious, far more so than the H5N1 bird flu, when you pretty much had to strangle an infected chicken to catch it. But when swine flu moves on from person to person, its severity falls dramatically. So while it is fatal for the few who have (for reasons yet unexplained) caught it from a primary source, it will not be so from people who catch it second or third hand. It's more dangerous for infants with ill-developed immune systems, as we saw with the death of the toddler in Texas.

The bad: there is shambles in the NHS about all this. In spite of the millions spent on civil contingencies, they are unable to co-ordinate with the various health authorities and produce a list of those with flu-like symptoms, suspected of swine flu, being monitored in England.

So this is highly unlikely to be a pandemic. But if one breaks out here, then God help us.

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

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