Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Let's Not Panic-At Least, Not Yet; Evening Standard

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Let's Not Panic-At Least, Not Yet; Evening Standard

Article excerpt

THE very possibility that swine fever has reached Clapham has brought the global scare uncomfortably close to home in London. But although the threat of contracting the virus is real and must be provided against and the very word "pandemic" arouses alarm, we should keep the level of risk in perspective. In Mexico, the official tally of deaths is about 160. As yet there have been no recorded deaths elsewhere from the virus, though this is likely to change in the near future.

The Government's job, then, as it prepares to issue explanatory leaflets about the virus to households throughout the country, is both to encourage prudent precautions against swine flu and to discourage hysterical over-reaction to it, a reaction likely to be intensified by the bulk order of millions of blue anti-infection masks. Nonetheless, the country is well-prepared to deal with large numbers of cases in terms of its stock of anti-viral treatments. One area where the public awareness campaigns will do real good is in airports: the virus may be carried by travellers from infected areas, including the US. …

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