UK Daily Mail
Friday, Aug 8, 2008
The greatest threat facing Britain is a flu pandemic that could kill 750,000 people, a Government report will warn today.
A national ‘risk register’ has identified an outbreak as the emergency that would have the greatest impact – though a terror attack is considered more likely.
The expert assessment of the dangers facing Britain, previously held confidentially within Government, is to be published by the Cabinet Office, and will be updated annually.
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It also assesses other potential emergencies such as extreme flooding, cyber-attacks, storms, animal diseases and climate change events.
Officials say the move is designed to enable communities to ‘prepare better’ for potential disasters. Gordon Brown says the register will give the public information about risks from ‘natural disasters, accidents and malicious threats over the next five years so that those who wish to can prepare for the consequences’.
Government advisers are understood to have estimated that a flu pandemic would cause between 50,000 and 750,000 deaths.
Mass graves, inflatable mortuaries, 24-hour cremations and ‘express’ funerals could all be used.
In a normal winter, the influenza virus kills about 12,000 people, most of them elderly.
But history shows that the flu virus can mutate into a new strain that is resistant to existing drugs.
This article was posted: Friday, August 8, 2008 at 2:55 am